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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XX

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Daenerys is third child, and Margery fourth.

Oh! Yes! jajajaja. I had made that mistakes. Sorry!!

Daenerys is the third one, the second son is Viserys. And yes: Margaery is the fourth (Wyllas, Garlan and Loras are her brothers).

Anyway about second sons and child: any theory?

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No problem, bgona :) I confess that nothing is sparking for me on your idea, but perhaps another member will have something to add on deeper reflection.

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Sansa isn't the "second child", actually she is the third child in the family of ned+cat+six wolf cubs. Above her there are Robb and Jon.

All younger siblings see Robb as the "perfect eldest brother", but none of them see Sansa as the "perfect eldest sister". What we can observe is that the role of "perfect eldest sister" is instead played by Jon. Every her siblings are closer and more respectful to Jon than to Sansa. So I think Sansa may be indifferent to Jon because Jon "take away" Robb, Arya, Bran and Rickon.

I think the change between the Stark children's relations began in 289, when Theon came to Winterfell as a ward. I think Cat wouldn't allow the chance for Sansa to see Jon as her true brother, and she would have done the same for her other younger children. But, as I said, Theon came into the picture and soon Robb came along with Theon. Cat may allow Jon to be close with her other children (except for Sansa),reluctantly because Jon was less dangerous than the Ironchlid that stealing, raping and robbing was in his blood. What's worse, Cat herself had the unpleasant experience that her father's ward felt more to her. So she would never allow Theon to feel "dirty" to her trueborn daughters ( and Theon really desired Sansa).

In a word, in 289 Jon began to be more and deeper into his younger siblings' life and play the "perfect eldest sister" role (avoiding to conflict with Robb's "perfect eldest brother"). IN this way,Sansa becomes more or less distant to her siblings.

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I do believe the R+ L= J theory. In accordance with this: Sansa is the second Nedd Stark child.

Interesting idea about Cat-Theon-Sansa, more when Petyr Baelish is Cat's dearest childhood friend.

But I am not so sure about the idea of Jon as the "perfect eldest sister". Jon was more attached to Robb and Arya.

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This just as great as your other forum number 18. especially loved reading the posts there.

One thing I have been wondering after reading about Daphane's posts about similarities between Sansa and Catelyn which I found interesting since there is one interesting thing that I have been wondering about about them is that they have both been forced married someone who they didn't wanted: Tyrion (Sansa) while Ned Stark (Catelyn) since the one she wanted /was suppose to marry was Brandon Stark elder brother of Ned Stark.

Which I find is quite ironic considered that both of they had dreamed of wedding someone else.

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First and foremost, my thanks to brashcandy for inviting me to participate in this part of the Pawn to Player Project. I must also acknowledge a huge intellectual debt to tze, whose post analyzing Jon's and Sansa's arcs in a past PtP thread greatly influenced this one.

This post will compare and contrast two sets of siblings who are rarely thought of together: Sansa Stark and her bastard half-brother Jon Snow, and Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen. The post will focus primarily on the power status of these four characters throughout their arcs. It will conclude with some thoughts on how Sansa's arc might play out in the final two books of ASoIaF.

Power, Sansa, and Jon

When we first mee these four characters in AGoT, each one holds a varying degree of power, both real and perceived. As their narrative arcs have progressed, some have lost power, some have gained, while others have had a more uneven journey.

Let us begin with Sansa and Jon. When AGoT begins, both are on opposite ends of the power spectrum. Sansa, despite her father's reluctance, had been betrothed to Crown Prince Joffrey Baratheon and was set to move to King's Landing and take her place in the royal court; in time, she would rule the Seven Kingdoms as Joffrey's queen. Jon, despite his having been raised alongside his trueborn siblings, had come to realize the limitations of his bastard birth and had decided to leave Winterfell for the Night's Watch and the Wall, as far away from the power of King's Landing that one could get within the Realm. The contrasts between Sansa's and Jon's respective situations was brilliantly illustrated during the welcoming feast the Starks held in honor of the visiting King Robert: whereas Sansa escorted Joffrey down the Great Hall and was seated with the royal family, Jon was relegated to the furthest of the common tables, with his uncle Benjen (himself a member of the Night's Watch) being the only family member who would visit with him that evening (AGoT, Jon I).

After their departure from Winterfell, Sansa's and Jon's arcs play out differently, with Sansa losing power and Jon gaining it. For Sansa, things begin to turn sour on the journey south to King's Landing. While riding with Joffrey near the Ruby Ford, a seemingly innocuous encounter with Sansa's sister Arya and her friend Mycah quickly escalates into a confrontation that ends with Arya's direwolf Nymeria attacking Joffrey (AGoT, Sansa I). The fallout of the event results in Mycah's death and the death of Lady, Sansa's direwolf, who is executed in place of the escaped Nymeria (AGoT, Eddard III). (In ACoK, Sansa IV, Cersei reveals to Sansa that the torment Joffrey subjects her to is rooted in his not forgiving Sansa for being a witness to his humiliation at Arya's hands).

Despite her initial enjoyment of courtly life, Sansa never again matched the perceived power she had when first betrothed to Joffrey. When her father was arrested for treason, Joffrey twisted Sansa's plea for mercy into a beheading (AGoT, Sansa V, Arya V). Though Sansa remains Joffrey's betrothed in ACoK, she is in reality a hostage, subject to emotional abuse from Joffrey and physical abuse from his Kingsguard (ACoK, Sansa III). After the Lannister-Tyrell alliance prevails over Stannis Baratheon at the Battle of the Blackwater, Sansa is set aside when Joffrey is betrothed to Margaery Tyrell (ACoK, Sansa VIII). Despite this, she remains a hostage in ASoS, and she is eventually married to Tyrion Lannister after Tywin gets word of a plan to marry her to Willas Tyrell, the heir to Highgarden (ASoS, Sansa I, Tyrion III, Sansa III). She finally escapes King's Landing on the night of Joffrey's assassination, but her escape means her taking on the identity of Petyr Baelish's bastard daughter, Alayne Stone (ASoS, Sansa V, VI). She is then nearly murdered by her aunt, and when last we see her, Littlefinger is plotting to marry her to Robert Arryn's presumptive heir (ASoS, Sansa VII; AFfC, Alayne II). Though this marriage is ostensibly part of Littlefinger's plan to reclaim the North in Sansa's name, it could easily be Baelish using Sansa as a pawn to further his own aims (since that topic has been brilliantly examined in past PtP threads, there is no need to delve further into it at this point in the post).

Much like Sansa, Jon received a rude awakening when he left Winterfell for the Wall. He quickly realized that the Night's Watch had effectively become a penal colony that was a mere shadow of its former self (AGoT, Tyrion II). His own arrogance turned most of his fellow recruits against him, and his uncle Benjen then told him that he had to earn his place like everyone else, not rely on his Stark heritage (AGoT, Jon III). But just as things started turning for Sansa at the Ruby Ford, things started turning for Jon after a conversation with Donal Noye, Castle Black's armorer. Noye opened Jon's eyes about his arrogance and the advantages his upbringing at Winterfell gave him, advantages that his fellow recruits never had (AGoT, Jon III).

Jon's ascent started at that point. He worked with and won over his fellow recruits (AGoT, Jon IV). He impressed Maester Aemon when he lobbied for Sam to be passed from training (AGoT, Jon V). The Old Bear named him his personal steward, and Qhorin Halfhand asked for him to be a member of his ranging party (AGoT, Jon VI; ACoK, Jon V). He forges a strong relationship with Mance Rayder and Tormund Giantsbane during his time with the Wildlings, successfully leads the defense of Castle Black, and is then elected Lord Commander of the Watch (ASoS, Jon I-II, VII-VIII, X, XII). Jon then proved himself to be an unorthodox leader in that he attempted to refocus the Watch from its conflict with the Wildlings to the impending conflict with the Others. This, coupled with Jon's attempts to forge a partnership with the Wildlings and his decision to meet Ramsay Bolton's challenge, alienated him from the Watch's senior officers, which culminated in an attempt on Jon's life (ADwD, Jon I-XIII).

Power, Daenerys, and Viserys

When we first meet Daenerys Targaryen in AGoT, she, much like Sansa, has just been betrothed to a powerful leader. But unlike Sansa, Dany finds no joy in her engagement to Khal Drogo, and the match reflects her lack of power as opposed to her gaining it. Dany's marriage to Drogo is all part of her brother Viserys's scheme to return to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne for his family. In exchange for Dany's hand, Drogo's khalasar will pledge itself to the Targaryen cause. Unlike Sansa, Dany isn't looking forward to courtly life, but dreading entering the world of the "savage" Dothraki. And unlike Jon, Viserys isn't limited by his bastard birth, but cashing in on his status as the last male heir of a once powerful house (AGoT, Daenerys I-II).

But like Sansa and Jon, things start to turn for Dany and Viserys as soon as they leave their starting point (Pentos). Viserys becomes increasingly disconnected and angry the further east Drogo's khalasar moves. Unlike Jon, Viserys didn't listen when a more experienced male -- in this case, Jorah Mormont -- counsels him to change course before he earns undying enmity (AGoT, Daenerys III-V). And unlike Sansa, Viserys was never courteous to those around him. Sansa, following the advice of Septa Mordane regarding ladies using courtesy as armor, never breaks her façade, even when dealing with her tormentors. It earns her scorn, particularly from Cersei and, at times, the Hound, but she never slips, because she knows that a slip might cost her dearly (ACoK, Sansa II, V-VII). For his part, Viserys was never afraid to show his disdain (though he was careful to speak in the Common Tongue so that the Dothraki would not understand him) for almost everyone and everything around him, and it cost him his life when he broke the most sacred rule of Vaes Dothrak (AGoT, Daenerys IV-V).

Dany's power arc is more a series of hills and valleys, as opposed to the steady decline of Sansa, the steep decline of Viserys, or the steady climb of Jon Snow followed by an abrupt crash. Though Dany is terrified of both her brother's abuse and her marriage to Drogo when we first meet her, she becomes increasingly confident the closer Drogo's khalasar gets to Vaes Dothrak. She learns Dothraki, begins to immerse herself in the customs of her new people, and she also stands up to Viserys, even striking him when he attempts to beat her (in stark contrast, Sansa never once fought back against Joffrey or the Kingsguard) (AGoT, Daenerys III-IV). The changing nature of her sexual relationship with Drogo also gives Dany a certain soft power over her husband (Dany credits the pillow tricks she learned from her handmaiden Doreah with helping her convince Drogo to allow Viserys to mount up again after he had been stripped of his horse) (AGoT, Daenerys III-IV).

Though Drogo appears to lose any interest in invading Westeros after Viserys's death, he decides to march west after a failed attempt on Dany's life (AGoT, Daenerys VI-VII). But just as Dany appears poised to succeed where her brother had failed, she seemingly loses it all when an infected wound leads to the death of Drogo and Dany's unborn son, as well as the loss of Drogo's khalasar (AGoT, Daenerys VIII-IX). Dany immediately bounces back from this disaster with the birth of her dragons, only to then wander the Red Waste before arriving in Qarth (AGoT, Daenerys X; ACoK, Daenerys I-II). While she is initially greeted warmly in Qarth, Dany soon finds herself having to move again following Drogon's destruction of the House of the Undying (ACoK, Daenerys IV-V). Her travels take her to Slaver's Bay, and her star reaches its zenith there: she takes the cities of Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen; she gains soldiers in the Unsullied and the sellswords who pledge themselves to her; she frees the slaves; and she installs herself as queen of Meereen (ASoS, Daenerys III-VI). But Dany seemingly enters another spiral after her coronation. Her rule faces stiff resistance from sectors of the Meereenese elite and individuals from around the world that have been adversely affected by the end of the slave trade. Yet another attempt is made on her life, and when last we see Dany, she is about to confront one of the men who abandoned her after Drogo's death (ADwD, Daenerys I-X).

Implications for Sansa in TWoW and ADoS

So, what do these power arcs tell us about where Sansa might be headed in the final two books of the series? Aside from Viserys (who is already dead), Sansa might be the most powerless of these characters when we see her last: she is in hiding as the bastard Alayne Stone, she's wanted for her alleged involvement in Joffrey's death, and she might be on the cusp of another unwanted marriage. Dany, despite her troubles in Meereen, still has Drogon by her side and many who are loyal to her. And though Jon's fate is still unknown, he still is -- assuming he survives -- the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, with many among the Watch and the Wildlings being fiercely loyal to him.

Of course, just because Sansa appears to be powerless, it doesn't mean that she actually is. The arcs of the other three characters discussed here show possible avenues she could travel as the series comes to its conclusion. For one, it is imperative for Sansa to maintain the courtesy that has served her well up to this point. The situation in the Vale (where Sansa currently is) is quite volatile, with many of the region's most important lords actively looking to end Littlefinger's tenure as Lord Protector of the Vale (AFfC, Alayne I). One false step or wrong word could land her in extremely hot water. While it is extremely unlikely that Sansa will commit a Viserys-level faux pas, she is quite aware that she needs to remain on her guard, as evidenced during her conversation with Myranda Royce during their descent to the Gates of the Moon (AFfC, Alayne II).

Sansa may also come to rely on a certain soft power over Littlefinger, much like Dany used with Drogo in AGoT. Sansa may not currently have the type of hard power Dany has at the end ofADwD with Drogon by her side (Sansa's link to the supernatural was seemingly severed when Lady was executed), but she may be able to manipulate Littlefinger through other means, and those other means don't necessarily have to lead to a sexual relationship like Dany had with Drogo. Though Littlefinger has shown signs of being attracted to Sansa, he also relishes his role as her teacher of the game of thrones. Sansa could easily play the eager student that then turns the tables on the teacher, or she could appear to reciprocate Littlefinger's attraction to lull him into a false sense of security or glean information from him. (Sansa has already proved herself willing to use soft power when she talks Joffrey into sparing Dontos Hollard's life in her first chapter of ACoK).

Ultimately though, Jon's arc might offer the most clues, because Sansa's situation at the end ofAFfC is eerily similar to Jon's situation at the beginning of AGoT: the noble bastard at the whim of the limits their birth has placed on them. Like Jon when he first arrived at Castle Black, Sansa finds herself surrounded by a cast of misfits and castoffs: the sickly Robert Arryn; her "fellow bastard" Mya Stone; and the outspoken young widow Myranda Royce. Like Jon, Sansa has also learned to pay especially close attention to everything that is going on around her (Benjen noted to Jon in AGoT that very little escaped him); she quickly deduces that Lyn Corbray is Littlefinger's mole amongst the Lords Declarant, and she knows that one of the reasons the Vale lords -- particularly Bronze Yohn Royce -- are restive is because they were not allowed to enter the war on her brother Robb's side (AFfC, Alayne I-II). Most importantly, Sansa, just like Jon did after his talk with Donal Noye and his election as Lord Commander, has proved herself willing to reach out to people. She looks after Robert Arryn and becomes almost like a mother to him following Lysa's death. Though she knows she has to be careful about what she says to Myranda Royce, she does not turn her away (her wariness around Myranda stands in stark contrast to Dany, who has often proven to be too trusting, most notably in the cases of Mirri Maz Duur and Brown Ben Plumm). She trusts Mya Stone and speaks for her when Sweetrobin proves reluctant to ride the mules down from the Eyrie. And she has identified a possible ally to cultivate in Bronze Yohn.

What could be shaping up then is a character that uses an interesting blend of courtesy, soft power, attentiveness, and outreach to get out of or improve her current situation. Sansa could very well use this combination to make them love her.

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Great observations, Viper, and thank you once again for your contribution :) For those who need a refresher, the project outline can be found here. Considering these other brother/sister relationships in the novels really helps to put into perspective just how functional the interaction between the Stark children ultimately proved to be. The probable theory of R+L=J also highlights the irony (and inherent tragedy) of a comparison between Jon and Viserys, and I think you did a good job of pointing out how Jon corrects that early sense of entitlement and bitterness, whilst Viserys hurdles recklessly towards his death, refusing to adapt to the culture of the Dothraki and to change or at least conceal his prideful nature. It is precisely this ability to adapt and survive in oppressive environments which has always impressed me about the arcs of Daenerys and Sansa. They each emerge from their respective "Red" horrors - the Red Waste and the Red Keep - without succumbing to the harsh conditions or to the machinations of their enemies. I also liked the soft power comparison you noted, and I'm very interested in seeing how this develops with respect to Sansa's actions in the Vale, and if she may be able to co-opt the hard power represented by the Vale army in opposition to LF's plans.

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Great observations, Viper, and thank you once again for your contribution :) For those who need a refresher, the project outline can be found here. Considering these other brother/sister relationships in the novels really helps to put into perspective just how functional the interaction between the Stark children ultimately proved to be. The probable theory of R+L=J also highlights the irony (and inherent tragedy) of a comparison between Jon and Viserys, and I think you did a good job of pointing out how Jon corrects that early sense of entitlement and bitterness, whilst Viserys hurdles recklessly towards his death, refusing to adapt to the culture of the Dothraki and to change or at least conceal his prideful nature. It is precisely this ability to adapt and survive in oppressive environments which has always impressed me about the arcs of Daenerys and Sansa. They each emerge from their respective "Red" horrors - the Red Waste and the Red Keep - without succumbing to the harsh conditions or to the machinations of their enemies. I also liked the soft power comparison you noted, and I'm very interested in seeing how this develops with respect to Sansa's actions in the Vale, and if she may be able to co-opt the hard power represented by the Vale army in opposition to LF's plans.

You're welcome, brash! :)

I had never noticed the parallel between Sansa and Dany emerging from a "red" horror; Sansa of course has also been shouldering the emotional burden of the Red Wedding and the belief that she and Jon are all that's left of their family.

Regarding Sansa using a soft power to win over the Vale's army, I think there are two important things to note: first, I do not think it's an accident that Sansa notes the Vale lords' stifled desire to enter the war on Robb's side; second, we have been given clues throughout the narrative that Ned remains a beloved and respected figure in the Vale, and that he himself thought they would rally to him if war with the Lannisters were to break out. Bronze Yohn Royce emerges as the key to both these factors.

It is Bronze Yohn who is most vocal about his having wanted to support Robb. And, quite tellingly, Bronze Yohn made it a point to take the overland route to Castle Black when his son Ser Waymar joined the Night's Watch, a journey that included a stop in Winterfell. It likely would have been easier and quicker for Ser Waymar to travel by sea to Eastwatch and continue on foot to Castle Black from there; instead, they traveled down the High Road into the Riverlands, then up the Kingsroad through the Neck. The journey to Winterfell alone would have lasted close to a month, and the journey seems like a lot of trouble to go to, especially when one considers that Ned and Bronze Yohn had no official political or familial relationship with each other (the Royces owe their allegiance to the Arryns, and, as I recall, the Stark-Royce marriage that Catelyn mentioned in ASoS was with the Gates of the Moon Royces, not the Runestone Royces). One gets the impression that this visit was a pretext for old friends to catch up as much as anything else.

And then there are Ned's thoughts when he's imprisoned in the Black Cells (AGoT, Eddard XV; bold is my emphasis):

He made plans to keep himself sane, built castles of hope in the dark. Robert's brothers were out in the world, raising armies at Dragonstone and Storm's End. Alyn and Harwin would return to King's Landing with the rest of his household guard once they had dealt with Ser Gregor. Catelyn would raise the north when the word reached her, and the lords of river and mountain and Vale would join her.

Ned was apparently convinced that Cat could rally the Vale to his side along with the North and the Riverlands. And we see that the Vale lords indeed wanted to help Robb (it remains unclear whether they would recognize him as king, or merely join him as allies). Sansa may well find a way to play on her father's memory and the pent-up frustration. Even though Bronze Yohn doesn't appear to have recognized Sansa behind the mask of Alayne, Myranda Royce seems to have figured out the secret of Alayne, meaning Sansa might have an in with a branch of House Royce that was just granted more power than they had before.

ETA: I don't think I made it quite clear in the post that there are two branches of House Royce: the Runestone branch, and the Gates of the Moon branch. Bronze Yohn belongs to the Runestone branch. Nestor and his daughter Myranda belong to the Gates of the Moon branch. It is this latter branch that a Stark woman married into in the past.

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The journey to Winterfell alone would have lasted close to a month, and the journey seems like a lot of trouble to go to, especially when one considers that Ned and Bronze Yohn had no official political or familial relationship with each other (the Royces owe their allegiance to the Arryns, and, as I recall, the Stark-Royce marriage that Catelyn mentioned in ASoS was with the Gates of the Moon Royces, not the Runestone Royces). One gets the impression that this visit was a pretext for old friends to catch up as much as anything else.

That's very interesting. Sansa also had a mad crush on Waymar Royce when he visited Winterfell, evidence of an innocent phase, marked by easy infatuations and romantic idealism. She herself recognizes the vast difference between the Sansa of then, and the one who currently resides in the Vale - hidden under another identity and becoming more adept in strategizing and recognizing the plots of those around her. As you noted, she may indeed have a good chance of bringing Bronze Yohn over to her side. With regard to whether he recognized her or not, Sansa specifically recalls him talking to Catelyn at Winterfell, which might hold meaning beyond the physical similarities he could detect between mother and daughter.

I was also thinking of Daenerys and Sansa as "mothering" figures and how that role could affect their choices going forward. Dany is looked at as a mother to her freedmen and the dragons, and Sansa has effectively taken on that duty towards Sweetrobin. It doesn't seem likely to me that either woman will neglect their responsibilities here, even though their methods to save those concerned might be radically different.

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redviper9, beautiful essay. Really insightful and wonderfully presented.

The first Targaryen parallel I have with Sansa/Jon is not Dany/Viserys, it`s actually Daenerys/Rhaegar. Both sisters feel the great devotion and loyalty towards their brothers, but there is also some sense of separation. Sansa is of course separated from Jon, not by the birth than also by the possible Jon`s parentage. Dany, on the other hand, never met Rhaegar. But, despite that detachment, there is a nice line that connects them. We know what Dany thinks of Rhaegar. The loyalty she feels is enhanced by praises she has been hearing from both her brother and people from Westeros like Jorah or Barristan. Sansa too feels great love for Jon, as she imagines his enrollement in NW as noble, knightly duty, never for a second thinking derogatively of NW, and she feels great love when he is mentioned by Myranda Royce. Also, there is some sort of identification that sisters use. Dany hears the stories about Rhaegar being the last dragon, and she is related to him as being the mother of dragon. Since she doesn`t consider Viserys a true dragon, Rhaegar is someone she genuinly identifies with. Sansa, in the Vale, as Alayne is someone who identifies with Jon through bastard status. The parallels between two pairs is so wonderful where the kindness, virtues and nobility is common for all 4 of them. Dany wants to live up tp Rhaegar`s good name, and Sansa and Jon have so much in common, from their compassion, naive look to the world, and capability to love blindly and profusely.

On the other hand, Sansa and Daenerys has indeed comparison between their older brothers. Robb`s relationship with Sansa is in a way, much tamer, and lovable relationship than one Viserys and Dany have. Both brothers have forgotten the well-being of their sisters in a moment, and both of them paid for that. Viserys with pot of melted gold and Robb with poilitical loss in his war. Robb has forgotten how Sansa is someone that has value, as Viserys forgot that Dany isn`t just mean to get what he wants. Both brothers, in some way, so common to patriarchal society, have overlooked the power their sisters have. But sisters were betraed by their brothers. Viserys was huge disappointment to Dany, as he constantly tormented her, and lastly sold her to Khal Drogo, and Robb, making one of the gravest mistakes, left Sansa on mercy of the Lannisters. But, despite that, both sisters care for them. Dany realizes that Viserys had gone mad due to everything that happened to them, and Sansa, for all the time she spent in KL, never stopped praying for Robb. The main difference of course is that Dany looked how her brother is being killed, and didn`t react, while Sansa fell in complete depression over the death of her brother.

Both Dany and Sansa loved their brothers. They were their heroes. Rhaegar for Dany, and unknowingly Jon for Sansa. Devotion both sisters feel for their brother is strong even through abyss that separated them.

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Interesting comparisons, redviper.

With Robb and Rhaegar added to the equation by Mladen, I have a different view. I think Robb and Rhaegar actually have many parallels, regarding their sisters as well. Daenerys never knew Rheagar but she worships him. Sansa and Robb have grown up in a loving family and they do love each other, but I don't know how much they really know each other, there is no indication of an intimate relationship. For Sansa, he is the older brother, the role model, the next head of the family, the strong one. She admires him like all the younger Stark siblings do.

Robb and Rhaegar doomed their families by loving the wrong girl. Robb's marriage to Jayne was a big catalyst for the outcome of the war. His refusal to trade Jaime for Sansa, not so much. He did not sell her, the way Viserys sold Daenerys. He did abandon her, though, the way Rhaegar abandoned his wife and children at the mercy of a crazy and cruel person.

Sansa is not aware that Robb refused to trade her, and if she did know, she might have thought that he was doing his duty as a king, like Arya considered the possibility of not paying her ransom without feeling betrayed. Nor does she know that she was bypassed as an heir, but maybe she would have understood the reasons for this, too. She wouldn't like the Lannisters to have Winterfell, I think.

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Please, let's stick to the topic and to the set of siblings discussed now, which is Daenerys/Viserys and Jon/Sansa. If you take a look at the outline, you will see that Robb/Sansa will be analysed in a different essay, and we desire to have an orderly discussion of each set. Thank you.

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Redviper9, thanks for your interesting presentation for the Women in Power project, and thank you, too, Daphne23, for your lovely comparative study of Catelyn-Arya-Sansa. I found the section on the "good girl" language excellent and spot on.

And if we needed another hint that Sandor was envisioned as her Lady replacement, he tells her on the Serpentine Steps:

"A dog can smell a lie, you know. Look around you, and take a good whiff. They're all liars here ... and every one better than you."

I was wondering about something: wouldn't Clegane also pose a threat to Sansa's "good girl" demeanour like the direwolf he's theorised to replace? Because he was the one person in King's Landing that was able to get Sansa to lower her solid courtesy armour in his presence and not be defensive, whilst maintaining it in place for the rest, to the point that ever polite and ladylike Sansa, taught to never say an unkind word to someone's face, actually gets to tell the Hound that he is "awful" and "hateful," words we'd only see her utter during sibling squabbles.

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I was wondering about something: wouldn't Clegane also pose a threat to Sansa's "good girl" demeanour like the direwolf he's theorised to replace? Because he was the one person in King's Landing that was able to get Sansa to lower her solid courtesy armour in his presence and not be defensive, whilst maintaining it in place for the rest, to the point that ever polite and ladylike Sansa, taught to never say an unkind word to someone's face, actually gets to tell the Hound that he is "awful" and "hateful," words we'd only see her utter during sibling squabbles.

He does indeed :) Clegane (hehe) is the first one to challenge that polished demeanour on their walk back to her room after the first day of the Hand's tourney. After this he advises her to wear it as a mask to save herself pain from Joffrey. So I think it's important to stress that it's very much his ability to understand and communicate with Sansa that enables him able to get beneath her skin, and vice versa.

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Redviper9, thanks for your interesting presentation for the Women in Power project, and thank you, too, Daphne23, for your lovely comparative study of Catelyn-Arya-Sansa. I found the section on the "good girl" language excellent and spot on.

I was wondering about something: wouldn't Clegane also pose a threat to Sansa's "good girl" demeanour like the direwolf he's theorised to replace? Because he was the one person in King's Landing that was able to get Sansa to lower her solid courtesy armour in his presence and not be defensive, whilst maintaining it in place for the rest, to the point that ever polite and ladylike Sansa, taught to never say an unkind word to someone's face, actually gets to tell the Hound that he is "awful" and "hateful," words we'd only see her utter during sibling squabbles.

Agree one thing that i find interesting about what she said about Cleagane replacing Lady is that instead of getting direwolf Sansa had gotten an dog which is ironically since dogs are known to be called "tamed" wolf.

Dogs are known to be very loyal to their friends and also known to be called humans' best friend, dogs keep them for any danger similar to what Cleagane did for Sansa by keeping her safe and being her best friend by giving her advises but also being loyal to her in times of need similar to what he did when she was forced strip by Kingsguard and he gave her his cloak when none did.

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Welcome to the thread SI :) and you're right, Sandor does show care and concern for Sansa - the cloak giving being one of the more explicit examples. While the Lannisters see him as just a highly skilled dog- to be set against those who would do them harm, it is his interaction with Sansa that humanizes him, and leads to the declaration he makes to Arya, about a dog growing tired of being kicked. Sansa's experience with the dog at the Fingers also illustrates how she's capable of inspiring loyalty from unexpected sources.

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snip

I am sorry I didnt respond on your post immediately, I got distracted a bit...

It`s a good observation, but I looked from male perspective, and both Robb and Viserys never realized how important their sisters are. Even after marrying to Drogo, Viserys continues with torments and insults, while Robb completely overlooked his sister. I feel like that mistake costd the both a lot.

Now, as for Viserys/Jon parallel, I was always surprised by the lack of true brotherly feelings in both pairs. Viserys was crazy, and he lusted for Dany, and she pitied him and later let him die. One can argue it`s a family curse. But when you look at Jon and Sansa, there is also some sort of disconnect between them in that siblings relationship. When he goes to Wall, he says goodby to everyone, but Sansa. He doesn`t think about her often, and I think the only 2 times I can remember is when he talks about her advice regarding girl`s name, and when Stannis brought up her. In her chapters, Jon is always on the edge. She felt pity when she saw Yoren, and she was glad he became LC of NW. There is strong devotion to each other, but I wouldn`t say that relationship is necesserily brotherly. Sometimes things that are omitted in the books, are as equally as important to those we have in them. The lack of this sibling connection is quite interesting, given that Robb abandoned NW for Ned and Arya, that he thinks a lot about his brothers, especially Bran and Robb. Even when he is returned to Castle Black after trying to desert NW, he recalls entire family but Sansa. So, what purpose does this disconnection serve? It`s not clear disconnection, but you also can`t define it as truly close. There is a sentiment, but it stuck somewhere between siblings and friends.

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Interesting tidbit I found out today in relation to Sandor being always compared to a dog. The name Sandor is Greek or Hungarian in origin (derived from Alexander) and means "defender of man" and dogs are often used for this purpose (that is my own dog in my avatar who is trained in protection sport). Seems our Sandor is more defender of woman (or women, in the case of Sansa and Arya).

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On Viserys-Daenerys and Jon-Sansa, there is a dipole of closness/love. The first pair of siblings have a very close but distorted relationship, without love. Up to the point that Viserys was alive each one's life and fate was tightly connected to the other. The power balance between the siblings in this relationship is crucial.

On the other hand, Jon and Sansa have a loving but somehow distant relationship. Each one's path has been independent of the other's so far. Jon becoming Lord Commander cannot affect Sansa's life directly. Sansa as Alayne draws strength from the paradigm of the boy Jon, pre NW.

ETA: Mladen, I believe Viserys did realize how important his sister was. She was important enough to buy him an army. Later, she was important enough to command a khalasar... He just couldn't accept it, the thought of her being more important than him was unbearable. There is an element of rivalry in this relationship, from Daenerys' part as well.

On the contrary, I can see Jon and Sansa developping a relationship of cooperation, if their paths cross again.

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Thanks for this interesting post redviper9 :)

They each emerge from their respective "Red" horrors - the Red Waste and the Red Keep - without succumbing to the harsh conditions or to the machinations of their enemies. I also liked the soft power comparison you noted, and I'm very interested in seeing how this develops with respect to Sansa's actions in the Vale, and if she may be able to co-opt the hard power represented by the Vale army in opposition to LF's plans.

That’s a good catch Brashcandy. I think that they also use a similar attitude to survive and to get people to underestimate them: Sansa with her courtesy armour and Dany with her famous line “I am but a young girl…”

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