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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XX

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Welcome to the thread SSB!

  • She notices on her own that Lothor Brune harbours feelings for Mya, and earns his trust enough that he confesses part of his earlier life to her. This in itself isn’t related to keeping her Stark identity, but is important because this means she’s not emotionally or psychologically isolated, and is able to earn other people’s trust by herself, which can be valuable long-term when/if she tries to get out of where she is at present.

I agree that it's not strictly related to her Stark identity, but this interest in Mya and Lothor is still so recognizably Sansa :) She's going down to the Gates of the Moon where there's real danger in being exposed, and yet she can't help but engage in some romantic speculation that is reminiscent of her conversations with Jeyne Poole. There's also a parallel in her observations of both girls, as we saw when Sansa noted that Beric Dondarrion would never be able to marry Jeyne, and that Mya Stone is herself ineligible for a high match. Yet in this latter situation, Sansa's own circumstances have changed, and "Alayne" is having fantasies of someone who would not be wholly suitable for Sansa Stark either. So although Sansa is trying to push the thoughts of the Hound away, there's a subconscious investment on her part in how the relationship between Mya and Lothor develops.

6. Grooming her as a potential lover doesn’t look like it’s going smoothly either, not less because she has already focused her sexual and romantic fantasies on Sandor Clegane—which in itself is an emotional shield, and of which Baelish isn’t aware—but because now there will be less opportunity and the required time alone with her at the Gates of the Moon, as there are more people around that don’t answer to him, and she will be spending more time with Randa Royce and Mya Stone, one that Baelish doesn’t trust and another whom he doesn’t seem to care about; and likely also people coming to and going out of the Vale, passers by, etc. All of this makes the necessary emotional isolation impracticable at the new location.

Interesting point on those feelings acting as an emotional shield, and Baelish not being aware is such a critical factor based on his efforts to discredit every other single connection she formed back in KL (along with his subtle undermining of Harry the Heir). "A Hound will die for you but never lie to you" is light years away from the philosophy and behaviour demonstrated by LF.

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At long last, now with quotations. I hope it lives up to expectations. :)

Part II - Tyrion Lannister And His Impact On Sansa Stark

The first part of Tyrion Lannister’s impact on Sansa Stark can be found here.

Tyrion Lannister is Tywin Lannister's youngest son. While he is the son of one of the richest and most powerful men in Westeros, he is also a dwarf; a condition that has influenced his life in a profound way (more on this can be found in the Tyrion re-read thread).

Family vs What Is Right - A Moral Compass Pointing Towards Casterly Rock

We know that Tyrion first encounters Sansa while he visits Winterfell, but we have no opinion from Tyrion on Sansa (or most of her siblings either). The first real interaction we get between Tyrion and Sansa is in Kings Landing in ACOK, which starts with Tyrion riding in with his clansmen from the Vale in tow. The chapter in question is from Sansa's POV and described in the first partof the Tyrion and Sansa write-up.

The first desciption of Sansa from Tyrion's POV we get in ACOK, ch 25, Tyrion VI, when he's sitting on the Iron throne holding court as Hand of the King after he has poisoned Cersei so she's been made sick.

Courtiers filled the gallery while supplicants clustered near the towering oak-and-bronze doors. Sansa Stark looked especially lovely this morning, though her face was as pale as milk.

Tyrion then proceeds to give Cleos Frey the terms for a northern surrender. Among the terms demanded are that sons will be sent as hostages, and if there are no sons, then daughters will suffice.

A daughter will suffice where there is no son. They shall be treated gently and given high places here at court, so long as their fathers commit no new treasons.

He then goes on to talk about Jaime, trading Jaime for the Stark sisters and connects Jaime's treatment with Sansa's.

Tyrion glanced toward Sansa, and felt a stab of pity as he said, “Until such time as he frees my brother Jaime, unharmed, they shall remain here as hostages. How well they are treated depends him.” And if the gods are good, Bywater will find Arya alive, before Robb learns she has gone missing.

Clearly, Tyrion knows some about Sansa's situation, but this is before the public beating where he has to step in, and as of here, I think it's clear Tyrion is over-estimating his own powers as rulers, and under-estimating the craziness of Joffrey. While he feels a twinge of guilt, he still does not comprehend the full impact his decision has on Sansa, nor the suffering she is put through at Joffrey's hands.

However, his words about treating Jaime, a soldier, a grown man and also the man who injured Eddard Stark in the leg and meant to murder him in the streets of Kings Landing to a defenseless 12 year old is cruel. It fits well within the realms of Real politik, without a doubt, but it smells more of Tywin's type of rulership than Ned Stark's, and it also does not jive all too well with Tyrion's own words of that he means to “do justice” when he is appointed Hand of the King by Tywin.

Tyrion sees Sansa's victim status, but his own family loyalty is more important, and his love for Jaime overrides his sense of justice and fairness here.

This is again highlighted at the Bread riots in Kings Landing, when Sansa gets lost in the crowds in ACOK ch 41, Tyrion IX.

Tyrion glanced round the yard. “Where's the Stark girl?”

For a moment no one answered. Finally Joffrey said, “She was riding by me. I don't know where she went.”

Tyrion pressed blunt fingers into his throbbing temples. If Sansa Stark had come to harm, Jaime was as good as dead.

It's clear from this scene that Tyrion's main concern is not Sansa's health, but Jaime's. His focus is not at all that Sansa may suffer mutilation, rape or death at the hands of the rioters, but that Jaime may be killed because Sansa is lost. In this Sansa is described as a valued possession first and foremost. When Sansa arrives with the Hound, Tyrion asks her is she is hurt, but before then his focus is solely on Jaime (which it seems Cersei is catching on to when she orders the Kings guards out in the streets again).

Tyrion also discusses Sansa's status as a hostage with Cersei in ACOK ch 54, Tyrion XII and again the reason he brings up for keeping Sansa well treated is that Jaime will suffer if he is not, but he's also asserting his power over Sansa in opposition to Cersei's/Joffrey's possibly in part because he feels that they can't do the job of keeping her safe, which could jeopardise Jaime's life, but also because they have treated Sansa abominably.

Before the Battle of the Blackwater, Sansa says she will pray and Tyrion says he won't ask for which outcome. He is aware that he and Sansa are not on the same side.

Tyrion is clearly aware of, and feels somewhat bad, for his treatment of Sansa and what has befallen the Starks, and also that “his” side is also Joffrey's side, and Joffrey is a Lannister bastard and not really anything near a true king. However, when family is put vs what is right, for Tyrion, family wins.

This Is The Wife They Had Given Him

The first physical description we get of Sansa from Tyrion's perspective is when he is presiding over the court and thinks of Sansa as pale as milk, but “lovely”. That is also the day he seals the deal regarding rejecting the northern peace offer and condemning Sansa to continued existence as a hostage. The next physical description we get of Sansa from Tyrion's POV does not happen until Tywin suggests Tyrion should marry her.

This is descibed in detail in the Tyrion re-read thread, but the gist of it is that Tywin and Kevan do their best to persuade Tyrion and despite his opposition, he's ends up going with his Casterly Rock moral compass instead of doing what is right and just.

Post wedding we have Tyrion remarking several times that Sansa is beautiful, even when sad, and sometimes specifically when sad.

Apart from thinking Sansa is pretty, Tyrion has a conflicted view on his marriage. On the one hand, he knows full well that Sansa has a grievance and that she is extremely sad and with good reason. On the other hand, he's bitter that she cannot be the wife he wishes for, as apart from the fact that the marriage was forced and her whole family is killed off, Sansa is close to the ideal highborn wife: pretty, courteous, of highest birth, young and a virgin.

His marriage was a daily agony. Sansa Stark remained a maiden, and half the castle seemed to know it.
ASOS Ch 32, Tyrion IV

Tyrion goes on to lament his marriage and thinks Sansa may have been stupid enough to tell the bedmaids that the marriage has not been consummated. In the middle of this, he acknowledges that the marriage makes Sansa even more miserable than it does him:

The only person in the Red Keep who didn't seem to find his marriage a source of amusement was his lady wife. Sansa's misery was deepening every day. Tyrion would gladly have broken through her courtesy to give her what solace he might, but it was no good. No words would ever make him fair in her eyes. Or any less a Lannister. This was the wife they had given him, for all the rest of his life, and she hated him.

He goes on to think of what he would want out of a marriage and out of the interaction with a wife:

I want her, he realized. I want Winterfell, yes, but I want her as well, child or woman or whatever she is. I want to comfort her. I want to hear her laugh. I want her to come to me willingly, to bring me her joys and her sorrows and her lust. His mouth twisted in a bitter smile. Yes, and I want to be as tall as Jaime and as strong as Ser Gregor the Mountain too, for all the bloody good it does.

As we can see, he blames a lot of the marriage misfortune on him being a dwarf, and not handsome enough apart from during the short thought where he recognizes that nothing will make him less of a Lannister.

Tyrion is also concerned with what Shae will think of his marriage and tries to be the first to tell her about it. He does not extend the same courtesy to Sansa, and tells her at the wedding that he should have come to her sooner. With Shae he gets upset about her indifference to his marriage, while he feels vaguely ashamed and bitter towards Sansa that she isn’t the wife he had hoped for.

A slightly strange pattern appears with Sansa and Tyrion if we compare their chapters. Sansa spends quite some time looking at Tyrion and reflecting on his looks, while Tyrion does not spend the same time at Sansa. While he reflects on the fact that he is attracted to her and that he finds her beautiful, it always leads to something else, in that he thinks of how she is the key to Jaime's freedom, or how it relates to himself as a dwarf, to the misery that is their marriage, or something else.

It gives their interaction a decided slant towards the female gaze, oddly. Tyrion is very much looked at by Sansa, and judged accordingly, while Tyrion doesn't even consider looking at Sansa and really taking her in until after their wedding. Tyrion spends far more time looking at Shae and appreciating and valuing her looks while Sansa in comparison gets a more cursory treatment. (Interestingly, this insinuates a rather female gaze.

The final pieces will be posted just below.

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Continued from above:

The Seasons of My Love & A Maid as White as Winter

In the Tyrion re-read thread(s), there has been a lot of really good discussions of the complex Tywin/Tyrion relationship, and how the Tysha incident impacts Tyrion's stance on several things, and how he tries to become Tywin 2.0 and above all, how he struggles and strives to be good enough in his father's eyes. In marrying Sansa Tyrion accepted Tywin's "wisdom" and bent to his will, but like with many other things, Tywin's gifts are poisoned. Tyrion realizes that during the wedding night and refuses to do another “Tysha” and rape a woman at Tywin’s command.

This is his first real act of disobedience and revolution when it comes to family vs what is right. Tyrion clearly recognizes that it would be morally wrong to force himself on Sansa, but at the same time, looking at it from a Lannister point of view, he ought to do it for the sake of his family and the Lannister cause. Up to this moment, Tyrion’s moral compass has been firmly calibrated to point towards Casterly Rock. He is a Lannister, through and through, and he pays his debts, but here he cannot bring himself to commit the moral transgression Tywin commands him to do in committing marital rape for the sake of the Lannister cause. Over it all, the shadow of Tysha can be seen.

When Sansa ultimately rejects Tyrion “forever”, he reacts with bitterness, but he sticks to his decision to not create a Tysha 2.0. Instead he uses Shae as a Tysha replacement, but the odd triangle Tysha – Shae – Sansa becomes more and more tangled up until Shae’s murder.

Tyrion does feel sorry for Sansa and occasionally shows understanding that he's added his bit to her awful situation. While he certainly has no wish to add to her grief and sometimes makes small attempts at breaking through the ice, he mainly focuses his time and attention on navelgazing about "the wife they had given him" and about how awful the marriage is for him and being bitter about Sansa not liking him like a "proper" wife, although there is nothing proper about their wedding.

Sansa is also a real catch on the marriage market, making her an ideal bride in many ways, and even Tywin seemed to think she was good enough, and Tywin has had some really unrealistic expectations in the past when it comes to marriage brokering. (He managed to royally offend the Dornish with offering newborn dwarf Tyrion to 15 years older Elia Martell instead of Jaime, his then oldest son and heir.)

Hence it seems to irk Tyrion even more that he now has the "perfect wife" on paper, and according to Tywin, so why does it not work out?

Why should I be guilty? My wife wants no part of me, and most especially not the part that seems to want her.
ASOS ch 58, Tyrion VII

(This is an interesting comment since the marriage to Sansa is probably the first time Tyrion expresses any guilt about whoring. And even though whoring seems endemic in Westeros and Essos, we also know from Ned that it's not honourable and that upstanding prince Rhaegar probably didn't frequent whores.)

Tyrion’s unrealistic expectations are only really obvious to the reader from a bit of eagle perspective on the text, as Tyrion’s POV really presents it as him being the main sufferer, and that this is right and proper. Considering the facts though, Tyrion’s messed up triangle of Tysha – Shae – Sansa and his unrealistic expectations on Tywin’s poisoned gift (the Sansa marriage), it should have been a given that the marriage would be a complete disaster. Eventually he comes to realize just how unrealistic his expectations were and just how poisoned Tywin’s gift was.

He had wrapped his cloak around her shoulders and sworn to protect her, but that was a cruel a jape as the crown the Freys had placed atop the head of Robb Stark’s direwolf after they’d sewn it onto his headless corpse. Sansa knew that as well. The way she looked at him, her stiffness when she climbed into their bed…when he was with her, never for an instant could he forget who he was, or what he was.
ASOS ch 53, Tyrion VI

Interestingly again, it’s Sansa’s gaze that is being discussed. Tyrion is clearly unsettled by the way she looks at him and the way it makes him feel.

The Lying Game

While Tyrion sneaks off to meet Shae and places Shae as Sansa’s maid, Sansa plays a little game of her own. She is meeting with Dontos in the Godswood, facilitating her eventual escape.

Further, what stands out is that Tyrion doesn't understand Sansa and has a poor grasp on Sansa the person. He misses her deception regarding the Godswood and also tends to suspect that she gossips with the maids.

No, I dare not. Vows or no, his wife could not be trusted. She might be a maiden between the legs, but she was hardly innocent of betrayal; she had once spilled her father’s plans to Cersei. And girls her age were not known for keeping secrets.
ASOS ch 58, Tyrion VII

Even if he sometimes fully understands his unrealistic expectations, it does not prevent himself from still having them.

Gently, he spoke of Braavos, and met a wall of sullen courtesy as icy and unyielding as the Wall he had walked once in the north.

For him, she represents a role, and his remark that she's like the Wall means here that he feels he cannot reach her. The real Sansa lies behind the Wall of ice, and Tyrion is incapable of creating even a small crack in that wall.

Body Language

What struck me as well is the body language between them and how stiff and uncomfortable it is. (Exemplified for instance in the passage about the pease in ASOS ch 53, Tyrion VI).

Conversation is likewise stilted and rarely comes without effort. There is a notable gulf between them Tyrion cannot bridge and Sansa has no interest in even trying to bridge.

There is no tenderness between these two and little understanding.

Sansa, despite being Tyrion's wife, has less impact on him than many other characters. In ADWD he thinks of Sansa only one or two times, and he's quite bitter about their marriage. So in a sense, it reflects that Tyrion never knew Sansa_the_person, but that the main emphasis for Tyrion was how their marriage tied into his dynamic with Tywin and Tysha, plus to a lesser degree Shae.

To Conclude - A Brief Summary

Throughout, Tyrion does feel sympathy for Sansa, but it is almost always overridden by his Lannister identity and the fact that his moral compass points firmly towards Casterly Rock. In ACOK he puts Jaime’s safety above Sansa’s plight at every turn and in ASOS, he lets himself be seduced by Tywin’s promise of a fine keep and a pretty wife to take Sansa as his wife despite knowing that she doesn’t want him. He then spends a lot of time lamenting that his unrealistic expectations of their marriage did not pan out. Over it all, Tysha’s shadow looms large.

Regarding Sansa’s and Tyrion’s interactions, they are characterized by awkwardness, inability to connect and lack of trust and honesty. They do not trust each other and even if they can recognize that they are not each other’s worst enemy, to Sansa Tyrion always remains a Lannister, and to Tyrion, Sansa’s gaze always pins him as a dwarf, and a Lannister. Her courtesy keeps him at arm’s length and he cannot break through the ice.

Sansa’s and Tyrion’s marriage is not dissolved, but they are as of ADWD on different continents and both in severe peril. Considering that they are married, they spend very little time thinking of each other. Tyrion only briefly thinks of Sansa, and Sansa thinks only briefly on Tyrion after she flees Kings Landing. While she acknowledges that Tyrion didn’t treat her badly, she is also clear that she does not wish to be married to him.

How the future will pan out for Sansa and Tyrion and if their marriage will continue to cause them grief is as of yet not clear. There are hints that the marriage may be an obstacle Littlefinger plans to remove. How this will impact their future interactions is unclear, but from Tyrion’s and Sansa’s interactions so far, I think we can safely infer that Sansa has learnt more about Tyrion than he has learnt about Sansa.

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Saving this spot for some musings on the political ramifications of the marriage, including Robb's and Littlefinger's reactions and whether or not Tyrion was aware of them.

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This thread certainly missed you, Lyanna. This wonderful piece deserves every praise and it certainly lived up expectations :)

In the past couple of weeks, I have analyzed Sansa's wolf traits and her marriage with Tyrion is brilliant indicator how much of that wolf blood is in her. FRom not kneeling, to that definite rejection and conversations that are so rigid, it is wonderfully shown how Sansa truly is she-wolf. Also you can make wonderful parallel with Lyanna when she speaks to Ned about Robert. We have such 2 emotionally strong women who will fulfill expectations, but alas will never give their hearts. And just like Lyanna escaped with Rhaegar, Sansa abandoned Tyrion...

My idea, and we discussed it in one of previous PTP editions is that Tyrion/Sansa marriage is like cancer for both of them, and one separated they treat it differently... While Sansa makes a clear cut like in surgery, Tyrion is going through some sort of torment about it, basically he`s on chemotherapy. The fact that Sansa so quickly and so effitiently exiled that marriage of her thoughts show how little that marriage actually meant for her.

I also really like the connection between Tysha and Sansa you made, Lyanna. This detachment from Tywin`s utter control and his grasp is so important at the moment. This act of defiance will lead to him killing Tywin, but also it brought Tyrion a great deal of newly-founded liberty. I think that his ability to restrain from raping Sansa is perhaps some sign of how Sansa influences on people. I will make them love me... And Sansa is type of woman people generally learn to love very easily

How this will impact their future interactions is unclear, but from Tyrion’s and Sansa’s interactions so far, I think we can safely infer that Sansa has learnt more about Tyrion than he has learnt about Sansa.

This is perfect conclusion. For no matter how good player Tyrion is, no matter how smart, coniving and perceptive he is, he doesn`t know Sansa. And if one day we see show-down between them, that will play important role

For the end, my dear friend, some things are worth waiting for... And this piece certainly was...

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Wonderful posts on Sansa and Tyrion, Lyanna Stark!

For him, she represents a role, and his remark that she's like the Wall means here that he feels he cannot reach her. The real Sansa lies behind the Wall of ice, and Tyrion is incapable of creating even a small crack in that wall.

This reminded me again (as much of the description of Sansa's courtesy armour does) of Catelyn's comment about Brienne: 'There are walls around this one higher than Winterfell's'. A lot of Brienne's characterisation and associated symbolism reminds me of both Sansa and Arya - as if she forms a kind of bridge between the sisters - and I wonder if anyone has ever written about this? (I assume it wouldn't have come into the 'Female influences' project as Sansa and Brienne have never met?) I know that brashcandy has analysed the Hound's role as a bridge - and I agree - but it seems fitting that Brienne might be a symbolic bridge as well, even if she never meets Sansa or Arya. She certainly seems like one of the few (!) people in Westeros who might understand where both sisters are coming from...

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I also really like the connection between Tysha and Sansa you made, Lyanna. This detachment from Tywin`s utter control and his grasp is so important at the moment. This act of defiance will lead to him killing Tywin, but also it brought Tyrion a great deal of newly-founded liberty. I think that his ability to restrain from raping Sansa is perhaps some sign of how Sansa influences on people. I will make them love me... And Sansa is type of woman people generally learn to love very easily

To be honest, I tend to think that Tyrion's decision to not go through with the consummation had far more to do with his unwillingness to toe Tywin's line and to further injure Sansa because Tywin said so. In this instance, Tyrion chose what was right over the Lannister cause for maybe the first time since Tysha. Tysha went totally against the Lannister cause for glory and power, and in refusing to consummate the marriage, Tyrion takes a stand against Tywin.

Sansa's complete rejection of him is another thing, somewhat divorced from this, but tied into the fact that Tyrion craves to be loved, and Sansa will not and cannot give that to him (I was going to elaborate on this in the reserved post :) ). Forcing her to submit to him and to forcibly consummate the marriage would have caused violence to Sansa, but also violence on what he wishes the most for himself: to be loved. Which he did in the extreme with Tysha, at Tywin's command.

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Thanks for all that Lyanna!

This paragraph struck me:

Tyrion’s unrealistic expectations are only really obvious to the reader from a bit of eagle perspective on the text, as Tyrion’s POV really presents it as him being the main sufferer, and that this is right and proper. Considering the facts though, Tyrion’s messed up triangle of Tysha – Shae – Sansa and his unrealistic expectations on Tywin’s poisoned gift (the Sansa marriage), it should have been a given that the marriage would be a complete disaster. Eventually he comes to realize just how unrealistic his expectations were and just how poisoned Tywin’s gift was.

I completely agree about Tyrion's expectations, but does Tyrion ever acknowledge and take responsibility for his mistake? I can't remember him doing so.

Their marriage was poison for Tyrion not only because Sansa would never fulfill his expectations as wife, but also because it made him a target for everyone who would rather use a widowed Sansa for their own purposes. I think the marriage made him a *huge* target.

For me the marriage is his biggest tactical mistake.

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To be honest, I tend to think that Tyrion's decision to not go through with the consummation had far more to do with his unwillingness to toe Tywin's line and to further injure Sansa because Tywin said so. In this instance, Tyrion chose what was right over the Lannister cause for maybe the first time since Tysha. Tysha went totally against the Lannister cause for glory and power, and in refusing to consummate the marriage, Tyrion takes a stand against Tywin.

Oh, I also think you are right, and that mainly it was act of defiance against Tywin, but Sansa also influenced Tyrion a bit. He became attached to her, concerned for her well-being, he started to care for her more than he should have. and somewhere in that process, the restrain became consequence of Tyrion's defiance and his general care for Sansa.

Sansa's complete rejection of him is another thing, somewhat divorced from this, but tied into the fact that Tyrion craves to be loved, and Sansa will not and cannot give that to him (I was going to elaborate on this in the reserved post :) ).

I think that Sansa at the end will show the ultimate she-wolf trait. She will mate with one she loves or chooses (I could have said that more graciously :)).

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Wonderful posts on Sansa and Tyrion, Lyanna Stark!

Glad you liked it. :)

This reminded me again (as much of the description of Sansa's courtesy armour does) of Catelyn's comment about Brienne: 'There are walls around this one higher than Winterfell's'. A lot of Brienne's characterisation and associated symbolism reminds me of both Sansa and Arya - as if she forms a kind of bridge between the sisters - and I wonder if anyone has ever written about this? (I assume it wouldn't have come into the 'Female influences' project as Sansa and Brienne have never met?) I know that brashcandy has analysed the Hound's role as a bridge - and I agree - but it seems fitting that Brienne might be a symbolic bridge as well, even if she never meets Sansa or Arya. She certainly seems like one of the few (!) people in Westeros who might understand where both sisters are coming from...

Brienne is certainly a character that has a lot in common with Sansa in that she perceives the world as if it were a song when we first meet her, even if she, unlike Sansa has been a target for just how harsh the world can be for a long time. She also as idealised views on love, honour and chivalry.

Since both Sansa and Brienne are idealists at heart, but have this idealism assaulted throughout, they have to both give some ground, but also to protect themselves. And for protection, you build walls. :)

I completely agree about Tyrion's expectations, but does Tyrion ever acknowledge and take responsibility for his mistake? I can't remember him doing so.t

As far as I can tell, he doesn't completely. He is intent on not adding to Sansa's misery and he is cognisant of his role in her misery, but he does not own his decision to add to it. He insists it was 100% Tywin that made him. "The wife they had given him", without acknowledging that he could have done the right thing, even if it had cost him. In this, Tyrion certainly is no Ned who does the right thing even at tremendous cost to himself.

Their marriage was poison for Tyrion not only because Sansa would never fulfill his expectations as wife, but also because it made him a target for everyone who would rather use a widowed Sansa for their own purposes. I think the marriage made him a *huge* target.

For me the marriage is his biggest tactical mistake.

I tend to agree, even if the POV structure makes that difficult to discern. We get so wrapped up in Tyrion's pity party that we cannot see the woods for the trees, so to speak, hence why I think it's meaningful to reference Robb's verdict of the marriage as well in an additional post. Robb also wasn't the most brilliant of politicians, but if even he can see the pattern, a cunning politician like Tyrion should have done it. Although I believe Lummel stated somewhere that we should never underestimate Tyrion's capacity for self-deception. :)

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I think we can safely infer that Sansa has learnt more about Tyrion than he has learnt about Sansa.

How so?

Since I am writing a post on this very subject, I feel obligated to speak my views and what I have gathered:

Post wedding we have Tyrion remarking several times that Sansa is beautiful, even when sad, and sometimes specifically when sad.

Apart from thinking Sansa is pretty, Tyrion has a conflicted view on his marriage. On the one hand, he knows full well that Sansa has a grievance and that she is extremely sad and with good reason. On the other hand, he's bitter that she cannot be the wife he wishes for, as apart from the fact that the marriage was forced and her whole family is killed off, Sansa is close to the ideal highborn wife: pretty, courteous, of highest birth, young and a virgin.

Yes, Tyrion thinks Sansa is very pretty. He is also enticed by her claim to Winterfell. But from Tyrion's PoV we know that he is extremely uncertain about his forced marriage to Sansa, and we know that when Tywin made the marriage proposal, all Tyrion desired was Shae:

Quote 1:

Shae is all the woman I need just now, he thought, and Sansa’s a girl, no matter what you say.

Not to mention the following thought Tyrion harbors on the marriage proposal:

Quote 2:

Sansa Stark, he mused. Soft-spoken sweet-smelling Sansa, who loved silks, songs, chivalry and tall gallant knights with handsome faces. He felt as though he was back on the bridge of boats, the deck shifting beneath his feet.

First, is this not a spot on assessment of Sansa? Second, this quote seems to show that Tyrion doesn't expect Sansa to be the ideal wife in the first place (not to mention do we even know what an ideal wife would be for Tyrion?) I do think Tyrion is bitter, not because of anything Sansa might or might not have done, but rather because the entire marriage is a hopeless one from the start.

Tyrion goes on to lament his marriage and thinks Sansa may have been stupid enough to tell the bedmaids that the marriage has not been consummated. In the middle of this, he acknowledges that the marriage makes Sansa even more miserable than it does him:

He goes on to think of what he would want out of a marriage and out of the interaction with a wife:

As we can see, he blames a lot of the marriage misfortune on him being a dwarf, and not handsome enough apart from during the short thought where he recognizes that nothing will make him less of a Lannister.

A couple things:

First, Tyrion does indeed suspect Sansa might have gossiped about the unconsummated marriage, but he also suspects others:

Quote 3:

His marriage was a daily agony. Sansa Stark remained a maiden, and half the castle seemed to know it. When they had saddled up this morning, he’d heard two of the stableboys sniggering behind his back. He could almost imagine that the horses were sniggering as well. He’d risked his skin to avoid the bedding ritual, hoping to preserve the privacy of his bedchamber, but that hope had been dashed quick enough. Either Sansa had been stupid enough to confide in one of her bedmaids, every one of whom was a spy for Cersei, or Varys and his little birds were to blame.

Second, I do think Tyrion has a solid understanding of why Sansa will never come to accept him:

Quote 4:

What difference did it make? They were laughing at him all the same. The only person in the Red Keep who didn’t seem to find his marriage a source of amusement was his lady wife. Sansa’s misery was deepening every day. Tyrion would gladly have broken through her courtesy to give her what solace he might, but it was no good. No words would ever make him fair in her eyes. Or any less a Lannister. This was the wife they had given him, for all the rest of his life, and she hated him.

Clearly, Tyrion puts equal blame in him being ugly and him being a Lannister. The two go together, and Tyrion understands that Sansa's reasons for rejecting him go deeper than his appearance. In my view, this is more than just a short thought.

Tyrion’s unrealistic expectations are only really obvious to the reader from a bit of eagle perspective on the text, as Tyrion’s POV really presents it as him being the main sufferer, and that this is right and proper. Considering the facts though, Tyrion’s messed up triangle of Tysha – Shae – Sansa and his unrealistic expectations on Tywin’s poisoned gift (the Sansa marriage), it should have been a given that the marriage would be a complete disaster. Eventually he comes to realize just how unrealistic his expectations were and just how poisoned Tywin’s gift was.

I think the only unrealistic expectation Tyrion is guilty of is him hoping to break through Sansa's armour of courtesy. He realizes it would be a foolish notion the moment Sansa tells him "never."

I also happen to think Tyrion does respect Sansa enough to offer her a way out at the day of the wedding. We might disagree as to wether such an option is an option at all. I am on the side that believes had Sansa said no, Tyrion would have stopped the wedding and seen Sansa marrying Lancel.

There is no tenderness between these two and little understanding.

Lol. I am writing my post precisely to show that Tyrion has shown tenderness toward Sansa. For instance, you see Tyrion gently talking to Sansa about Braavos as him harboring unrealistic expectations. I have it marked as an instance of gentleness.

Quote 5:

“I had hoped it might please you, my lady.”

“It will please me to please my lord.”

His mouth tightened. What a pathetic little man you are. Did you think babbling about the Lion’s Mouth would make her smile? When have you ever made a woman smile but with gold? “No, it was a foolish notion. Only a Lannister can love the Rock.”

“Yes, my lord. As you wish.”

Tyrion could hear the commons shouting out King Joffrey’s name. In three years that cruel boy will be a man, ruling in his own right... and every dwarf with half his wits will be a long way from King’s Landing. Oldtown, perhaps. Or even the Free Cities. He had always had a yen to see the Titan of Braavos. Perhaps that would please Sansa. Gently, he spoke of Braavos, and met a wall of sullen courtesy as icy and unyielding as the Wall he had walked once in the north. It made him weary. Then and now.

As to wether Tyrion understands Sansa, I happen to think he does:

Quote 6

He wondered what Sansa would do if he leaned over and kissed her right now. Flinch away, most likely. Or be brave and suffer through it, as was her duty. She is nothing if not dutiful, this wife of mine. If he told her that he wished to have her maidenhead tonight, she would suffer that dutifully as well, and weep no more than she had to.

I guess I will sign off with the following quotes from Sansa's and Tyrion's PoV:

Quote 7:

“Did Sansa Stark do it, then?” Lord Tyrell demanded.

I would have, if I’d been her. Yet wherever Sansa was and whatever her part in this might have been, she remained his wife. He had wrapped the cloak of his protection about her shoulders, though he’d had to stand on a fool’s back to do it. “The gods killed Joffrey. He choked on his pigeon pie.”

Quote 8:

“Was the dwarf incapable?”

“No. He was only... he was...” Kind? She could not say that, not here, not to this aunt who hated him so.

Quote 9:

I will tell my aunt that I don’t want to marry Robert. Not even the High Septon himself could declare a woman married if she refused to say the vows. She wasn’t a beggar, no matter what her aunt said. She was thirteen, a woman flowered and wed, the heir to Winterfell. Sansa felt sorry for her little cousin sometimes, but she could not imagine ever wanting to be his wife. I would sooner be married to Tyrion again.

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It gives their interaction a decided slant towards the female gaze, oddly. Tyrion is very much looked at by Sansa, and judged accordingly, while Tyrion doesn't even consider looking at Sansa and really taking her in until after their wedding. Tyrion spends far more time looking at Shae and appreciating and valuing her looks while Sansa in comparison gets a more cursory treatment. (Interestingly, this insinuates a rather female gaze.

Good analysis, Lyanna, and I agree very much with your point on the female gaze and how it functions in their relationship. During the marriage, Sansa is at one of her lowest points with respect to hope/happiness/agency. She's been forced to marry a man that she has no affection for, and whose family is responsible for the murder of her brother, mother and father. Her only relief is to resume her meetings with Dontos, and to pray that he's able to get her out of the city as planned. And yet, in the personal interaction between Sansa and Tyrion, the female gaze works to give her valuable power and control in that marriage - not only to make clear the revulsion that she feels, but to also cement her resolve in not truly becoming the dutiful wife Tyrion longs for. It is through Sansa's look that Tyrion is able to "perceive" the fact that he is not wanted, and it is in not being afraid to look and grasp what she is seeing, that Sansa finds the courage to reject the teachings of Septa Mordane. The gaze operates to authorize and facilitate Sansa's rejection of Tyrion, and that is why he comes to realize the futility of his attempts to connect with her or to suggest they leave KL for some "neutral" destination.

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Perhaps that would please Sansa. Gently, he spoke of Braavos, and met a wall of sullen courtesy as icy and unyielding as the Wall he had walked once in the north. It made him weary. Then and now.

As to wether Tyrion understands Sansa, I happen to think he does:

Quote 6

He wondered what Sansa would do if he leaned over and kissed her right now. Flinch away, most likely. Or be brave and suffer through it, as was her duty. She is nothing if not dutiful, this wife of mine. If he told her that he wished to have her maidenhead tonight, she would suffer that dutifully as well, and weep no more than she had to.

I guess I will sign off with the following quotes from Sansa's and Tyrion's PoV:

Quote 7:

“Did Sansa Stark do it, then?” Lord Tyrell demanded.

I would have, if I’d been her. Yet wherever Sansa was and whatever her part in this might have been, she remained his wife. He had wrapped the cloak of his protection about her shoulders, though he’d had to stand on a fool’s back to do it. “The gods killed Joffrey. He choked on his pigeon pie.”

Quote 8:

“Was the dwarf incapable?”

“No. He was only... he was...” Kind? She could not say that, not here, not to this aunt who hated him so.

Quote 9:

I would sooner be married to Tyrion again.

This are great quotes to show Tyrion's efforts during his marriage to reach Sansa. Efforts that were fruitless (perhaps predictably) but definitely made with the best intentions.

ETA:

And yet, in the personal interaction between Sansa and Tyrion, the female gaze works to give her valuable power and control in that marriage - not only to make clear the revulsion that she feels, but to also cement her resolve in not truly becoming the dutiful wife Tyrion longs for.

Actually from the text we see that Sansa was indeed willing to become the dutiful wife of Tyrion but not the loving wife Tyrion longs for.

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ETA:

Actually from the text we see that Sansa was indeed willing to become the dutiful wife of Tyrion but not the loving wife Tyrion longs for.

Exactly what do you consider "dutiful"? Continuing to plan an escape whilst married? Continuing to refuse to sleep with her jailor husband? Continuing to wear her courtesy armour? If you're talking about polite dinner conversation and enduring his presence next to her in bed, then forgive me, but with regards to actual duty, Sansa was playing a mummer's farce.

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Actually from the text we see that Sansa was indeed willing to become the dutiful wife of Tyrion but not the loving wife Tyrion longs for.

Exactly what do you consider "dutiful"? Continuing to plan an escape whilst married? Continuing to refuse to sleep with her jailor husband? Continuing to wear her courtesy armour? If you're talking about polite dinner conversation and enduring his presence next to her in bed, then forgive me, but with regards to actual duty, Sansa was playing a mummer's farce.

I agree with brashcandy on this one. I mean, it`s the same like you would say that Sansa was the loyal subject to Joffrey. She kept her head down, played along and endured everything. There's no duty here, it's only survival... She did her best to survive hell Lannisters created for her, and that meant to be polite, to talk nicely and pretend some twisted happiness.

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How so?

Since I am writing a post on this very subject, I feel obligated to speak my views and what I have gathered:

Because the world needs more "Mrs Lannister" threads? :)

Yes, Tyrion thinks Sansa is very pretty. He is also enticed by her claim to Winterfell. But from Tyrion's PoV we know that he is extremely uncertain about his forced marriage to Sansa, and we know that when Tywin made the marriage proposal, all Tyrion desired was Shae:

I think we need to stop and reverse a bit here already at the first sentence. Forced yes, but for whom? Tyrion, or Sansa? Certainly not for Tyrion, as he was presented with a choice. Please check here for reference and discussion.

Quote 1:

Shae is all the woman I need just now, he thought, and Sansa’s a girl, no matter what you say.

Not to mention the following thought Tyrion harbors on the marriage proposal:

Quote 2:

Sansa Stark, he mused. Soft-spoken sweet-smelling Sansa, who loved silks, songs, chivalry and tall gallant knights with handsome faces. He felt as though he was back on the bridge of boats, the deck shifting beneath his feet.

I am not sure what you think this statement supports that differ from my interpretation. Tyrion could choose what is right, and reject the marriage offer, but he doesn't. Knowingly and against his own objections, he goes against what is right and agrees to marry Sansa anyway.

First, is this not a spot on assessment of Sansa? Second, this quote seems to show that Tyrion doesn't expect Sansa to be the ideal wife in the first place (not to mention do we even know what an ideal wife would be for Tyrion?) I do think Tyrion is bitter, not because of anything Sansa might or might not have done, but rather because the entire marriage is a hopeless one from the start.

Not at this stage no, she has already and is increasingly, becoming very disillusioned with the institution of knighthood and of chivalry. Besides, if Tyrion manages to describe Sansa as pretty and soft spoken, a hundred other people could do the same. I am uncertain what it proves. That they ought to be married? That Tyrion has magic insights into Sansa's true nature?

A couple things:

First, Tyrion does indeed suspect Sansa might have gossiped about the unconsummated marriage, but he also suspects others:

Quote 3:

His marriage was a daily agony. Sansa Stark remained a maiden, and half the castle seemed to know it. When they had saddled up this morning, he’d heard two of the stableboys sniggering behind his back. He could almost imagine that the horses were sniggering as well. He’d risked his skin to avoid the bedding ritual, hoping to preserve the privacy of his bedchamber, but that hope had been dashed quick enough. Either Sansa had been stupid enough to confide in one of her bedmaids, every one of whom was a spy for Cersei, or Varys and his little birds were to blame.

Only Cerseit and Varys have planted spies, but Sansa is a different matter. Hers is a failing of stupidity if what Tyrion's suspicions are true. They also go completely against what we know that Sansa has learnt so far through late AGOT and ACOK: to keep quiet and armour herself in courtesy and say only what they want to hear. That does not include gossiping with bedmaids.

Second, I do think Tyrion has a solid understanding of why Sansa will never come to accept him:

Quote 4:

What difference did it make? They were laughing at him all the same. The only person in the Red Keep who didn’t seem to find his marriage a source of amusement was his lady wife. Sansa’s misery was deepening every day. Tyrion would gladly have broken through her courtesy to give her what solace he might, but it was no good. No words would ever make him fair in her eyes. Or any less a Lannister. This was the wife they had given him, for all the rest of his life, and she hated him.

Clearly, Tyrion puts equal blame in him being ugly and him being a Lannister. The two go together, and Tyrion understands that Sansa's reasons for rejecting him go deeper than his appearance. In my view, this is more than just a short thought.

"Or any less Lannister" is set in italics, unlike the rest of that quote, too. But on other occasions, Tyrion is visibly uncomfortable with the way he thinks his wife perceives him. Hence he blames his dwarfism more than his allegiance to the Lannister cause, even though we know from Sansa's later statement which you also quoted that Sansa is able to differentiate between the Lannister cause and Tyrion, the individual.

I think the only unrealistic expectation Tyrion is guilty of is him hoping to break through Sansa's armour of courtesy. He realizes it would be a foolish notion the moment Sansa tells him "never."

If he realises it so well, why does he spend so much time being bitter that Sansa does not want him, and that she would suffer dutifully should he insist?

I also happen to think Tyrion does respect Sansa enough to offer her a way out at the day of the wedding. We might disagree as to wether such an option is an option at all. I am on the side that believes had Sansa said no, Tyrion would have stopped the wedding and seen Sansa marrying Lancel.

So you believe that Tyrion first said yes to Tywin but then he'd change his mind? Even disregarding that is that Cersei threatened Sansa that she would be wedded and bedded no matter what, which includes bodily harm. You can of course argue that Sansa should have relied on Tyrion's innate goodness, and that Tyrion only joked when he was talked into marrying Sansa by Kevan and Tywin. However, the conclusion from carefully done Tyrion re-read thread is the same as mine, generally.

Lol. I am writing my post precisely to show that Tyrion has shown tenderness toward Sansa. For instance, you see Tyrion gently talking to Sansa about Braavos as him harboring unrealistic expectations. I have it marked as an instance of gentleness.

Quote 5:

“I had hoped it might please you, my lady.”

“It will please me to please my lord.”

His mouth tightened. What a pathetic little man you are. Did you think babbling about the Lion’s Mouth would make her smile? When have you ever made a woman smile but with gold? “No, it was a foolish notion. Only a Lannister can love the Rock.”

“Yes, my lord. As you wish.”

Tyrion could hear the commons shouting out King Joffrey’s name. In three years that cruel boy will be a man, ruling in his own right... and every dwarf with half his wits will be a long way from King’s Landing. Oldtown, perhaps. Or even the Free Cities. He had always had a yen to see the Titan of Braavos. Perhaps that would please Sansa. Gently, he spoke of Braavos, and met a wall of sullen courtesy as icy and unyielding as the Wall he had walked once in the north. It made him weary. Then and now.

Why would Sansa want to go to Braavos or Casterly Rock with Tyrion? Clearly, even Tyrion himself here realises that Sansa does not want to go anywhere with him. He wishes to please her, but what he mentions clearly doesn't. Another proof as well that Tyrion, in fact, does not understand Sansa. Which was what you claimed above. If anything, this proves my point, not yours.

As to wether Tyrion understands Sansa, I happen to think he does:

Quote 6

He wondered what Sansa would do if he leaned over and kissed her right now. Flinch away, most likely. Or be brave and suffer through it, as was her duty. She is nothing if not dutiful, this wife of mine. If he told her that he wished to have her maidenhead tonight, she would suffer that dutifully as well, and weep no more than she had to.

Yes, most likely, she would suffer it dutifully, as she has very little choice. Unless you think she ought to fight Tyrion off? Or throw him off the battlements? I am honestly confused as to what you are after here. To me, it's like Tyrion thinking Sansa is pretty. It's stating the bleeding obvious.

However, he is wrong regarding one important thing though: his wife is not dutiful. Throughout, she has been plotting with Dontos to leave Kings Landing, and she has lied to Tyrion about it to his face and he suspected nothing.

I guess I will sign off with the following quotes from Sansa's and Tyrion's PoV:

Quote 7:

“Did Sansa Stark do it, then?” Lord Tyrell demanded.

I would have, if I’d been her. Yet wherever Sansa was and whatever her part in this might have been, she remained his wife. He had wrapped the cloak of his protection about her shoulders, though he’d had to stand on a fool’s back to do it. “The gods killed Joffrey. He choked on his pigeon pie.”

Tyrion is doing what is right as opposed to what his Lannister father would prefer? I'm again not sure what this shows, apart from the fact that Tyrion is capable of defying his father and doing what is right when he wants to, although he very rarely did before he refused to rape Sansa on their wedding night. He calls her "false" later in ADWD together with Shae, too.

Quote 8:

“Was the dwarf incapable?”

“No. He was only... he was...” Kind? She could not say that, not here, not to this aunt who hated him so.

Quote 9:

I will tell my aunt that I don’t want to marry Robert. Not even the High Septon himself could declare a woman married if she refused to say the vows. She wasn’t a beggar, no matter what her aunt said. She was thirteen, a woman flowered and wed, the heir to Winterfell. Sansa felt sorry for her little cousin sometimes, but she could not imagine ever wanting to be his wife. I would sooner be married to Tyrion again.

Yes, Sansa is able to differentiate between Tyrion the individual and the Lannister cause. Tyrion wasn't cruel to her, apart from the fact that he agreed to marry her, and it can also be argued that he was when he refused to trade her for Jaime and rejected the northern peace offer, plus he threatened to treat Sansa badly if Jaime was treated badly.

Further, Sweetrobin is a spoilt sickly 9 year old boy. Sansa even says that at least Joffrey was sound of body and if she compares Joffrey to someone favourable, well, that's not really a huge endorsement.

Lastly, let me end with Sansa's own words on her marriage to Tyrion and her wish to escape the Red Keep. She contemplated suicide. If that doesn't enforce just how unhappy she was while married to Tyrion (even if Tyrion himself points it out several times), that should do it.

From the opening of ASOS Sansa IV, ch 59:

I must be brave. Her torments would soon be ended, one way or another.

From the same chapter, somewhat later:

They have made me a Lannister, Sansa thought bitterly.

And this concludes any further Mrs Lannister discussions. I honestly think that if that particular dead horse should need another beating, a new Mrs Lannister thread can be opened. There was a very good reason why I did not go into detail regarding that as this is a. a thread concerning Sansa b. not a Tyrion re-read thread (there are excellent ones of that kind already) and c. not a Tyrion white washing thread either.

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This are great quotes to show Tyrion's efforts during his marriage to reach Sansa. Efforts that were fruitless (perhaps predictably) but definitely made with the best intentions. ETA: Actually from the text we see that Sansa was indeed willing to become the dutiful wife of Tyrion but not the loving wife Tyrion longs for.

As I stated, any further Mrs Lannister discussions should be placed in another iteration of the Mrs Lannister threads. They do not have any place here and it was on purpose I did not go into detail on that subject but referred to the in depth discussions made in the Tyrion re-read thread which analyses Tyrion's character and his chapters in depth.

It was absolutely not my intention to invite people to beat that dead horse again and again. Search is on again, so everyone who feels so inclined can search for "Mrs Lannister".

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I agree with brashcandy on this one. I mean, it`s the same like you would say that Sansa was the loyal subject to Joffrey. She kept her head down, played along and endured everything. There's no duty here, it's only survival... She did her best to survive hell Lannisters created for her, and that meant to be polite, to talk nicely and pretend some twisted happiness.

Yeah, honestly, it'd be like claiming Cersei was a dutiful wife to Robert. Oh you know, except for making sure her children were fathered by someone else and then arranging his death. :rolleyes:

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Good analysis, Lyanna, and I agree very much with your point on the female gaze and how it functions in their relationship. During the marriage, Sansa is at one of her lowest points with respect to hope/happiness/agency. She's been forced to marry a man that she has no affection for, and whose family is responsible for the murder of her brother, mother and father. Her only relief is to resume her meetings with Dontos, and to pray that he's able to get her out of the city as planned. And yet, in the personal interaction between Sansa and Tyrion, the female gaze works to give her valuable power and control in that marriage - not only to make clear the revulsion that she feels, but to also cement her resolve in not truly becoming the dutiful wife Tyrion longs for. It is through Sansa's look that Tyrion is able to "perceive" the fact that he is not wanted, and it is in not being afraid to look and grasp what she is seeing, that Sansa finds the courage to reject the teachings of Septa Mordane. The gaze operates to authorize and facilitate Sansa's rejection of Tyrion, and that is why he comes to realize the futility of his attempts to connect with her or to suggest they leave KL for some "neutral" destination.

Not sure If I necessarily agree with your interpretation here. Do we have any evidence showing that Sansa does this purposefully or even subconsciously to exert power, dominance, and control over their marriage? I interpreted it as Sansa's inability to hide her true feelings, which makes her an easy read and thus an undesirable trait to have in the game of thrones. I even got the impression that Sansa avoided looking at Tyrion in the eye whenever possible:

Quote 1:

“My lady.” Tyrion offered Sansa his arm. She took it dutifully, but he could feel her stiffness as they walked up the aisle together. She never once looked down at him.

Quote 2:

They stepped out into the crisp autumn air. “I feared we’d never escape,” Tyrion quipped.

Sansa had no choice but to look at him then. “I... yes, my lord. As you say.” She looked sad. “it was such a beautiful ceremony, though.”

Snip

I know this is a Sansa thread, which is why I have withheld the great majority of quotes I have that i think showcase Tyrion's kindness/understanding toward Sansa. I will save them for my thread. (And yes, when I say forced marriage, I am referring to Sansa, not Tyrion)

And apologies to brashcandy for this derailment. Feel free to report this to the mods and have it deleted.

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nirolo, I can only suggest you go through the Tyrion re-read thread to get a good perspective on Tyrion and his chapters as they contain a huge in-depth analysis of Tyrion, his character development, motivations and psychology.

Threads about how nice Tyrion was to Sansa, that they should have worked together, and how they could have made it work, etc etc. are extremely common and normally lumped together under the moniker "Mrs Lannister". I think the last round had four incarnations.

I apologise if this comes off as rude, but we've had so many of those the topic really is flogging the horse over and over again and I honestly feel bringing that particular discussion in here brings the focus away from Sansa and over to Tyrion. My write up here is only one part of a whole, and is mostly supported on the Tyrion re-read, but also on other analyses like DatePalm's dialectic approach of the Shae-Tyrion relationship (which for some reason Search does not want to turn up right now).

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