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[BOOK SPOILERS] Discussing Sansa III


Mladen

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Well, that all depends on how likeable you found Tyrion in the books, doesn't it? Adaptations always are going to result in the elimination/alteration of some scenes, and whether you think the elimination/alterations of those scenes matters is dependent upon how you viewed that character.

Tyrion is favorite among men, and that`s normal. Ask the male readership about Tyrion, and they`ll tell you he`s cool. As much as I love Sansa as character, Tyrion is also one of my favorites. I hate him in ADWD, but in the first three book, he was more than great character. Even his flaws nowadays could be interpreted as minor.

But we have problems, when those that are supposed to create adaptation have that narrow POV. They don`t allow Tyrion to evolve, and they put him in heroic box which makes other characters that interact with him far worse than they are. And when it`s about others in scenes with Tyrion, they change the focus on him, like in the wedding, when they added a stool, so his problems would be worse than Sansa`s.

But, now back to your theory about Sansa. I don`t think GRRM screwed the character as much as Sansa positioned herself as a `love me or hate me` type of character. She isn`t easily beloved, like Tyrion or Arya, but she has depth and there is something that many can relate to and sympathize with her. So, I think she is one of those rare characters that truly divides readership, and most likely neither side is 100% right.

Now, as for the show. I don`t see D&D trying to fix it. I think they have their own opinion about Sansa, and they work with that. I doubt they have some high opinion or think Sansa is important for their vision. For them, she is one of those characters they simply don`t understand, and then try to shape her into something more likable and approachable. Plus, there is always notion that some characters audience wants to see, and some they don`t. And producers know this is business. And just as we have more Margery, Tywin or Joffrey, because audience loves watching them, we have less of Catelyn, Sansa and Bran. Simply, it`s industry not vision.

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I'm saying I don't think casual fans would care if Sansa is a 'meanie' to drawf-ned or not. They are focused on revenge against the meanies who murdered the King of the North, his mother, wife and his unborn child.

What? So you're saying that casual fans can only care about one plot thread at once? Or are you saying that because Tyrion is a Lannister he's some how responsible for a massacre he knew nothing about? I realy don't think most viewers see it that way.

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Because her joking with Tyrion was an outward, active interaction with another character that did not involve a hang-dog look. It involved talking about a practical joke, which is a real world interaction with another human being, and open comments about her sister. That Sansa was not feeling sorry for herself at that moment.

It's the difference between a normal interaction with another human being, versus introversion and Walter Mitty fantasies.

Yes, because being externally happy is so much better then being internally happy. Moreover, there are ton of characters that equally engage in self-pity besides Sansa such as Arya, Bran, Jaime, Jon, Theon, and Tyrion thus it is hardly unique that she feels bad for herself.

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What? So you're saying that casual fans can only care about one plot thread at once? Or are you saying that because Tyrion is a Lannister he's some how responsible for a massacre he knew nothing about? I realy don't think most viewers see it that way.

You'll never see a book reader post a 'reaction' video on youtube for anything that happens to Tyrion. Lets be real. He does not suffer anywhere near the kind of tragedy the Starks suffer. Casual fans loved King Robb a way they'll never love Tyrion. He has too much plot armor to be empathized with on the level of the Starks.

The showrunners underestimate Stark love by their audience.

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....

Nah, I think Sansa is meant to be a character you might have to take a second look at... It's very purposeful. For example, the first chapter we see Sansa in (Arya I) ends with Arya and Jon implying that Sansa is a tattle-tale. Then Sansa I begins with Sansa covering for Arya with Septa Mordane. These conflicting portrayals are meant to play on our expectations and make us think more deeply about the text.

Sansa's hardly alone in this. GRRM loves for the bad characters to turn out to be good, the good characters to turn out to be bad, and our expectations to be constantly messed with. He is clearly writing a challenging text for an attentive reader.

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I like Sansa in the books, and I understand the hate her character gets far less than I understand the hate for Tyrion, but the problem with translating her character to screen is that most of her emotional complexity is internal, and 90% of the time she's reactive rather than active. Events happen and she responds to them, but she rarely makes decisions of her own.

Now D&D haven't done a great job with what they had, and cutting large chunks of the San-San relationship, and the plot thread with Ser Dontas, has thrown away much of what little they had to work with, but even so I'm struggling to think of a way where they can have Sansa maintain her cold courtesy at all times whilst at the same time reveal all the complex emotions that she's feeling beneath the facade. It's just not something that really works on televison. Her mask has to slip more often, or else we'd never get a chance to know what she's feeling.

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I like Sansa in the books, and I understand the hate her character gets far less than I understand the hate for Tyrion, but the problem with translating her character to screen is that most of her emotional complexity is internal, and 90% of the time she's reactive rather than active. Events happen and she responds to them, but she rarely makes decisions of her own.

Now D&D haven't done a great job with what they had, and cutting large chunks of the San-San relationship, and the plot thread with Ser Dontas, has thrown away much of what little they had to work with, but even so I'm struggling to think of a way where they can have Sansa maintain her cold courtesy at all times whilst at the same time reveal all the complex emotions that she's feeling beneath the facade. It's just not something that really works on televison. Her mask has to slip more often, or else we'd never get a chance to know what she's feeling.

Yet they did a far more respectable job in season 2. Remember that dinner she had with Cersei, Tommen, and Myrcella? That look she gave herself in the mirror? The way her mask occasionally slipped under pressure?

Even without all that, they gave her an easy sounding board with Shae. They didn't need to have her apparently abandon her mask entirely.

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It never actually said this, but I think in the books she didn't give him a chance because she knew she was leaving soon anyway. In the show I think she thinks she blew her chance when LF left, so she's trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Even in the books she doesn't think poorly of him, she told LF he didn't deserve to be punished for poisoning the king when he didn't and when Lysa asked if she was pregnant she told her that they never had sex and thought "because was kind."

Plus like other people said he's not as hideous on the show as he is in the books.

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You'll never see a book reader post a 'reaction' video on youtube for anything that happens to Tyrion. Lets be real. He does not suffer anywhere near the kind of tragedy the Starks suffer. Casual fans loved King Robb a way they'll never love Tyrion. He has too much plot armor to be empathized with on the level of the Starks.

The showrunners underestimate Stark love by their audience.

So you're saying that if Sansa walks around like a courteous zombie, never showing any emotion other than resigned misery, the fans will still support her because she's a Stark and the Starks are great. I really don't think that's how it works. Thank god the character Martin wrote is so much deeper than that.

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Yes, because being externally happy is so much better then being internally happy. Moreover, there are ton of characters that equally engage in self-pity besides Sansa such as Arya, Bran, Jaime, Jon, Theon, and Tyrion thus it is hardly unique that she feels bad for herself.

It's not external happiness that matters -- it's having meaningful, non-fantasy based interactions with other characters, rather than internalized fantasies. It's actually living a life versus just dreaming one.

And that is the difference between book Sansa and those other characters. To the extent they self-pity, it is not to the exclusion of well-developed, real-world, non-fantasy interactions with other people.

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And that is the difference between book Sansa and those other characters. To the extent they self-pity, it is not to the exclusion of well-developed, real-world, non-fantasy interactions with other people.

Yeah, why doesn't the person who is practically all alone surrounded by enemies in all of her chapters not interact more openly with people. Seriously, in contrast most of those interact with characters they are more powerful then or at least share equal power with in the long run.

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It's not external happiness that matters -- it's having meaningful, non-fantasy based interactions with other characters, rather than internalized fantasies. It's actually living a life versus just dreaming one.

And that is the difference between book Sansa and those other characters. To the extent they self-pity, it is not to the exclusion of well-developed, real-world, non-fantasy interactions with other people.

Out of that group of characters I'm gonna say that Tyrion and Theon win the 'extent they self-pity' prize. Tyrion probably edges out Theon. Sansa doesn't pity herself more than the other Stark kids.

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So you're saying that if Sansa walks around like a courteous zombie, never showing any emotion other than resigned misery, the fans will still support her because she's a Stark and the Starks are great. I really don't think that's how it works. Thank god the character Martin wrote is so much deeper than that.

I'm saying show Sansa's pov. That's it. The showrunners don't understand how the casuals feel because they approach the show from a South/Lannister point of view. They think their the heart of the show, but its really the Starks.

Even I was taken aback how popular King Robb turned out to be.

The only 'youtube reaction video' moment I can think of for Tyrion is when Red Viper loses to Lurch That Rides, and I'm telling you, the casuals will react, how is Tyrion going to get out of this, not oh man, he's done for.

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It's not external happiness that matters -- it's having meaningful, non-fantasy based interactions with other characters, rather than internalized fantasies. It's actually living a life versus just dreaming one.

And that is the difference between book Sansa and those other characters. To the extent they self-pity, it is not to the exclusion of well-developed, real-world, non-fantasy interactions with other people.

You are aware that Sansa is surrounded by enemies, right? That's the whole point of her story. She has to keep up her facade at all times.

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I like Sansa in the books, and I understand the hate her character gets far less than I understand the hate for Tyrion, but the problem with translating her character to screen is that most of her emotional complexity is internal, and 90% of the time she's reactive rather than active. Events happen and she responds to them, but she rarely makes decisions of her own.

I think that does a very nice job explaining why so many people have a negative reaction to her. While some readers may sympathize or empathize with that type of personality, others just find it annoying. For me personally, she stepped out of that "reactive rather than active" mode for a moment when she told an animated story about Arya sewing crap into her mattress.

It's like book Sansa is that girl you meet at a party, and no matter how much you try to actually talk to her, she just sits their quietly the whole time because she's taken up with her own internal monologue and fantasies. So, you get up and leave to talk to someone who actually knows how to have a real-world conversation with another human being. So when Sansa comes up with that story about Arya, it's like "holy crap, she can actually be funny and interesting". And offering a suggestion to Tyrion about who was laughing at him was something that was not as self-absorbed as she generally seems to be.

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Yeah, why doesn't the person who is practically all alone surrounded by enemies in all of her chapters not interact more openly with people. Seriously, in contrast most of those interact with characters they are more powerful then or at least share equal power with in the long run.

Everyone isn't her enemy. The fact that she thinks they are is a mental prison of her own making.

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I think that does a very nice job explaining why so many people have a negative reaction to her. While some readers may sympathize or empathize with that type of personality, others just find it annoying. For me personally, she stepped out of that "reactive rather than active" mode for a moment when she told an animated story about Arya sewing crap into her mattress.

It's like book Sansa is that girl you meet at a party, and no matter how much you try to actually talk to her, she just sits their quietly the whole time because she's taken up with her own internal monologue and fantasies. So, you get up and leave to talk to someone who actually knows how to have a real-world conversation with another human being. So when Sansa comes up with that story about Arya, it's like "holy crap, she can actually be funny and interesting". And offering a suggestion to Tyrion about who was laughing at him was something that was not as self-absorbed as she generally seems to be.

Oh, seriously. Sansa is not "a girl you meet at a party". She's living in the lion's den, surrounded by people who abuse her, and from whom she must conceal her actual thoughts as best she can. Are you really criticizing a girl regularly abused and threatened with death for not being more outgoing? That's not "self-absorbed"; indeed, Sansa was quiet a social butterfly under normal circumstances.

Everyone isn't her enemy. The fact that she thinks they are is a mental prison of her own making.

Er, yeah, they pretty much are. Tyrion is her enemy; he's her nicest jailer, but he's not her friend, and can't be, because they're on different sides. The rest of the Lannisters are her enemies, the Tyrells are kind of ambiguous, but certainly not steadfast (and she did try to reach out to them). The only clear friend she has on the show is Shae; in the books, really only Dontos.

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It's not external happiness that matters -- it's having meaningful, non-fantasy based interactions with other characters, rather than internalized fantasies. It's actually living a life versus just dreaming one.

And that is the difference between book Sansa and those other characters. To the extent they self-pity, it is not to the exclusion of well-developed, real-world, non-fantasy interactions with other people.

Really? And who would Sansa interact with in KL? She's a 12-year-old hostage who saw her father being beheaded, lost her sister and keeps hearing news of her family members dropping like flies. She's beaten and abused by Joffrey and the KG, used by Cersei, married against her will, manipulated by the Tyrells, spied on by her maids and laughed at by the whole court. No one wants to even get close to her so as not to be seen as a traitor. And you're giving her shit for 'feeling sorry for herself'?

Sansa interacts with Sandor and Dontos - the only people who look at and talk to her. So who else would you suggest that she befriend exactly?

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Everyone isn't her enemy. The fact that she thinks they are is a mental prison of her own making.

And both Jaime and Tyrion have had a pretty easy life, yet they constantly cry about their supposed hard-knock life.

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Out of that group of characters I'm gonna say that Tyrion and Theon win the 'extent they self-pity' prize. Tyrion probably edges out Theon. Sansa doesn't pity herself more than the other Stark kids.

Nobody could ever beat Tyrion in self-pity, he's defined by this.

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