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Milady of York

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XXI

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There are two theories on these forums that I have read that have made me jump out of my chair shouting "Yes yes yes!" (Disclaimer; no actual jumping or shouting occurred. :D ) The first was Yolkboy's "S+B=M" and the second is this one.



They are both things of beauty and joys forever! :bowdown:

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S+B=M ? Don't know what this is. Can you post a link. Would love to read it.

Agree with you this theory awe inspiring.

Here you go! I'm sure you'll like this one as well.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/96824-sbm-mel-the-red-star-bleeding-melony-seastar-part-2-has-been-added-on-pg9/

and many thanks :)

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Lummel raised a good question on a different thread, where I had posted an off the cuff response to a question about the cloak a couple of days ago that grew into this piece. brashcandy's response was so good, I'm importing the exchange over here:

I think it is highly unlikely that Sansa's green cloak is Sandor's white cloak - who is going to dye a blood stained white cloak for Sansa and not report it? Sansa has no household of her own. When she is married to Tyrion the servants are a cook provided courtesy of Varys and certainly an informant and Shae. Neither has any reason to be loyal to Sansa and keep something so questionable secret. I'm presuming that she might be able to get the opportunity to shorten the cloak on her own, but getting the blood out and dying it isn't the kind of task she can do on her own. Does she even have money of her own to pay somebody to do it for her considering that she is effectively a prisoner the whole time?


It's a good question Lummel, and I think the answer may be found in the incident that happens a couple chapters earlier when Sansa gets her first period, and in a panic decides to burn the evidence because she doesn't want to be forced to bear Joff's children:

Snatching up her knife, Sansa hacked at the sheet, cutting out the stain. If they ask me about the hole, what will I say? Tears ran down her face. She pulled the torn sheet from the bed, and the stained blanket as well. I’ll have to burn them. She balled up the evidence, stuffed it in the fireplace, drenched it in oil from her bedside lamp, and lit it afire. Then she realized that the blood had soaked through the sheet into the featherbed, so she bundled that up as well, but it was big and cumbersome, hard to move. Sansa could get only half of it into the fire. She was on her knees, struggling to shove the mattress into the flames as thick grey smoke eddied around her and filled the room, when the door burst open and she heard her maid gasp.

Sansa could have claimed that the cloak was one of the things she burnt at that point, thereby allaying suspicion of the true source. A girl who has a history of dyeing clothes, not to mention burning and bloodying others, might not be looked at too closely when she produces a cloak bearing similar distress.

Furthermore, we're talking about a period of time before the Tyrion marriage, when Sansa enjoys the most freedom she's had since her father's death. She's able to partake in activities with Margaery etc, so I guess another possibility is that she could have used a member of the Tyrells' household.

The thing that excited me about this response brash, is the further connection of Sansa to burned and bloody fabric. Really great perception. For the record, I knew that the problem of opportunity that Lummel raises would be a weak point for some. You've offered a very nice alternative there!

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Thanks Gwyn :) I've always been fascinated by the parallels in these two incidents, and that's why I felt so strongly that Sansa should have that bloody cloak, but could never find a satisfying answer to what had happened to it. Your theory has been a godsend. Getting her period was a terrifying moment because of that fear of sexual victimization and loss of agency, but it is via Sandor's bloody cloak that she reclaims her personhood and is able to have a more positive development into womanhood.

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Just jumping in to say Wow! I love it! I also wanted to comment on Brashcandy's comment about how LF put a cloak on Sansa's shoulder's when he reveals himself on the boat, as that is where my mind went after reading this theory. If Sansa was already wearing an olive green cloak, then why would LF put another one on her. I never realized the proximity before this that Sansa would have already been wearing a cloak when she got on LF's boat. I had just forgotten about the olive green cloak and figured that LF gave Sansa a new one (which he put on her, she did not take it and put it on herself). Then I thought, maybe she had left the cloak somewhere after she climbed down the cliff, or before, and only needed it to get out of the castle. But this crackpot, that she was still wearing the olive green cloak when she boarded LF's ship and how LF misinterpreted her shivering and put his cloak over the other one takes the symbolism to a whole new level. It represents another layer of how LF is forcing Sansa to cover up her true identity. Nicely done Lady Gwynhyfvar and everyone else who contributed! :thumbsup:


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The Bloody Cloak: A Crackpot

<great post>

This can indicate that she has the cloak still, since she doesn’t mention what became of it nor gives any indication that it is lost to her. Since we know that she only took one cloak with her as she fled King’s Landing, we shall now say with confidence, quod erat demonstrandum.

I was (very) skeptical when I started reading this, but the final bit brought it in the realm of the possible for me... :)

Nice work! And that goes for this entire thread... I almost can't believe how thorough, well thought out and articulate it is. Though I rarely comment, I follow these threads with great interest :). I really like not only the content, but also the atmosphere that is going on here. You're doing a great job...

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Lady Gwynhyfvar, exceptionally well done! You do yourself a disservice calling it crackpot. Just a hypothesis waiting for future publication to be tested.



Really nice supporting observations all around. I like the "olive" symbolism in the green especially. Sandor ends up playing peacemaker even if falling short of diplomat by intervening in the Gregor/Loras fight and refusing to take shots at his brother's head. The needlework makes for quite a nice metaphor as well. Was it Queen of Winter who did the Arya/Sansa dress comparison? I wonder if the green symbolism could fit well with that too.


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Lady Gwynhyfvar, exceptionally well done! You do yourself a disservice calling it crackpot. Just a hypothesis waiting for future publication to be tested.

I completely agree. I don't know what the definition of crackpot for everyone else, but this seems too well supported to be tagged with that. I've been thinking more and more about this all day, and I absolutely love the post Lady Gwynhyvar. You might have just swayed me into a re-read, largely to examine the yin-yang of Arya and Sansa that your idea supports. The notion of 'needle' signifying sword/shield, attack/defense etc. is really interesting.

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I was (very) skeptical when I started reading this, but the final bit brought it in the realm of the possible for me... :)

Precisely the passage that made me think that Sansa could still have the cloak with her in the first place. The bloody Kingsguard cloak is only mentioned twice by Sansa in the books, and the first time is to let the readers know that Sansa hasn't gotten rid of it but instead has stored it under her summer silks. And the intriguing fact is that even though she thinks of Sandor many times after that, the only other time she alludes to the cloak is in Alayne II. Why then and at that moment, approximately seven months later, and not before given that Sansa had opportunity? And why is there no indication of the cloak's whereabouts and zero hints that Sansa considers the cloak as lost? That she has the cloak now dyed green provides a plausible answer to these questions.

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The Bloody Cloak: A Crackpot

<snip>

Awesome theory Lady Gwynhyfvar! Interesting connection between the bloody and green cloaks to Sandor and Sansa. Every time I come to the forum, I learn something new.

All the analysis's that everyone does here are great. I wish I could dissect text like you guys can. This has to be one of my favorite threads to read.

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Precisely the passage that made me think that Sansa could still have the cloak with her in the first place. The bloody Kingsguard cloak is only mentioned twice by Sansa in the books, and the first time is to let the readers know that Sansa hasn't gotten rid of it but instead has stored it under her summer silks. And the intriguing fact is that even though she thinks of Sandor many times after that, the only other time she alludes to the cloak is in Alayne II. Why then and at that moment, approximately seven months later, and not before given that Sansa had opportunity? And why is there no indication of the cloak's whereabouts and zero hints that Sansa considers the cloak as lost? That she has the cloak now dyed green provides a plausible answer to these questions.

This seems to fit with a noticeable pattern in ASOS of Sansa ostensibly not thinking about Sandor, but then having particular moments where the depths of these thoughts are revealed.

The first mention we get of the bloody cloak is when she's still in the compassionate phase: she misses him, but understands that his desertion had to do with the fear of fire. She states that she doesn't know why she kept it, but readers can begin to guess, especially when the unkiss memory comes to light. By the time of Alayne II, we're seeing an older, more developed Sansa, whose feelings are now apparently clear to her by the slight resentment with which she thinks of the bloody cloak :)

That it continues to hold meaning to her is obvious, and does support the theory that she has kept it all this time, simply in another guise.

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The Bloody Cloak: A Crackpot

*snip*

Call me a skeptic, but I think the "Occam's Razor" of this is that Sansa has more than one cloak of her own. (And more than one colour of dress too.) She was a prisoner in King's landing, but a highborn one still expected to keep up appearances. I think she took Sandor's cloak with her on her journey, but I do not think she wore it at any time since the night of the UnKiss. A brown cloak, a green cloak, a grey cloak - she probably had a great deal of clothes, something for every occaision. (Some being darker, better for sneaking off with Dontos.)

As for Sandor's cloaks, I think it is plural too. After all, he would have gotten a Kingsguard one, but not thrown his own out. When he left King's Landing he did not have his white cloak, but I doubt he had none at all.

For men or woman, it's necessary to have one to deal with weather.

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Maybe this has already been covered implicitly in the explanation of how Sansa had the opportunity to dye the cloak, but to add support to this, not only would she have had an opportunity, but a strong motive to do so. By the time of the PW she had been planning her escape with Dontos for a while. She knew to have her change of clothes hidden away in the godswood for example. If Dontos told her a while before the PW that she would need some dark clothing and cloak to dress warmly in but she didn't have anything dark, then this might have started her thinking that she'll have to make one. That would be the reason why she took the old cloak and made a dark colored one from it. So, she had opportunity, motive, and a great explanation as to why she needed to do this as she could have told whoever she would need to get dye for her that she burnt her old cloak in the fire and needed to make a new one from it.


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I think she took Sandor's cloak with her on her journey, but I do not think she wore it at any time since the night of the UnKiss. A brown cloak, a green cloak, a grey cloak - she probably had a great deal of clothes, something for every occaision. (Some being darker, better for sneaking off with Dontos.)

If she had a brown cloak, which is a colour even darker than green and gray, wouldn't she have worn that for her escape when she was explicitly told to wear "dark" clothing and she mentioned she didn't have any, the very reason why she was wearing a brown dress and a green cloak, as these were the darkest colours she had? If she had more cloaks in other colours as you suppose, for which there's no textual proof, that doesn't have anything to do with this hypothesis.

For men or woman, it's necessary to have one to deal with weather.

Except that we're not arguing that she made that cloak for warmth or because of necessity, she had other clothing for that. We're arguing that she made it because the white cloak had emotional significance for her, which it does.

As for Sandor's cloaks, I think it is plural too. After all, he would have gotten a Kingsguard one, but not thrown his own out. When he left King's Landing he did not have his white cloak, but I doubt he had none at all.

Did we argue that Sandor only had one cloak? Not at all. Reading the crackpot carefully, you'll see that we mentioned that he did have other cloaks, and we've mentioned the times when it's noted in the text. If you're suggesting that he had more than one Kingsguard cloak, then that's possible, but still I don't get what your point is and what significance it has for our crackpot. Our argument is that he left his Kingsguard cloak for Sansa, as it's stated in ACOK Sansa VII, and that she remade it, dyed it green for a cloak of her own. If Sandor took with him any other Kingsguard cloaks he might have had, that's neither here or there, and I don't see why he would bother to take with him a symbol of the life he's done with and leaving behind, basically a Lannister uniform.

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Call me a skeptic, but I think the "Occam's Razor" of this is that Sansa has more than one cloak of her own.

Aside from what Milady of York has said so well, I would counter your 'Occam's Razor' with 'storytelling logic'. Grrm wants to tell a good story, and makes things fit together symbolically, metaphorically and thematically. Lady Gwyn's idea ticks these boxes perfectly, and that's on top of the very compelling textual evidence she has presented. And generally speaking, using Occam's Razor to argue a point in the context of this 5000 page epic fantasy - with frequent plot twists, surprises and mysteries - seems misguided to me.

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On the question of the cloak's larger significance and if it will reappear, it's noteworthy that Sansa hides the poisoned hairnet in one of the pockets just before Dontos enters the godswood. The hairnet has been widely appreciated as a potential Chekhov's gun in the Vale, not only as a murder weapon, but as evidence relating to the Purple Wedding. Now that she's posing as the Lord Protector's bastard daughter, Sansa can't be seen in too many fine clothes, so it's likely that she took the dress and the cloak with her upon leaving the Eyrie. With the hairnet hidden away in a garment that holds such sentimental value and her current predicament in light of LF's plans, it seems only a matter of time before Sansa discovers it again.

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The Elder Brother in the Vale? Sansa wears Sandor's cloak while escaping King's Landing? I like where this is going!! Seriously, I'm absolutely giddy over these crackpots. I have spent soooooo much time wondering about the cloak. Did she manage to bring it with her? Is it still in her cedar chest back at King's Landing? If so, will she get it back one way or another? It never would have occurred to me that she actually wore it out of KL. I never even really paid attention to the color of her cloak or her dress the night of her escape. I did think there was some significance to Sandor's green civilian cloak since Sansa was wearing a green dress the night before when he revealed how he received his burns.



Keep up the great investigative work, PtP peeps. This is great stuff!


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Call me a skeptic, but I think the "Occam's Razor" of this is that Sansa has more than one cloak of her own. (And more than one colour of dress too.) She was a prisoner in King's landing, but a highborn one still expected to keep up appearances. I think she took Sandor's cloak with her on her journey, but I do not think she wore it at any time since the night of the UnKiss. A brown cloak, a green cloak, a grey cloak - she probably had a great deal of clothes, something for every occaision. (Some being darker, better for sneaking off with Dontos.)

As for Sandor's cloaks, I think it is plural too. After all, he would have gotten a Kingsguard one, but not thrown his own out. When he left King's Landing he did not have his white cloak, but I doubt he had none at all.

For men or woman, it's necessary to have one to deal with weather.

I realize this has been well responded to, but wanted to add this...

Occam's Razor says the simplest explanation is the correct one. Let's review these facts:

1.Sandor left a stained white cloak in Sansa's possession in ACoK

2.Sansa is known to have dyed stained white clothing a dark color to hide the stain.

3.Sansa left King's Landing with one cloak.

4.Sansa saved Sandor's cloak and thinks of it as late as AFfC, ch.41 with no indication that it is lost to her.

All the other narrative and symbolic evidence we presented, and added to in the course of discussion, aside-- based on those four items Occam's Razor tells me that if Sansa has Sandor's cloak (as item four indicates) then it is the green cloak she left KL in.

On the question of the cloak's larger significance and if it will reappear, it's noteworthy that Sansa hides the poisoned hairnet in one of the pockets just before Dontos enters the godswood. The hairnet has been widely appreciated as a potential Chekhov's gun in the Vale, not only as a murder weapon, but as evidence relating to the Purple Wedding. Now that she's posing as the Lord Protector's bastard daughter, Sansa can't be seen in too many fine clothes, so it's likely that she took the dress and the cloak with her upon leaving the Eyrie. With the hairnet hidden away in a garment that holds such sentimental value and her current predicament in light of LF's plans, it seems only a matter of time before Sansa discovers it again.

Yes, yes, yes!! Chekhov's... holster? Perfect connection :)

In my opinion, what takes an idea out of the crackpot category is adding narrative sense and purpose. The supporting discussion here has been so great in that regard that I agree...

:cheers: It feels like another gift chapter came early.

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