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Milady of York

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XXI

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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.

# 2 occurred when she still had the sort of access that allowed her to do this. After becoming a captive, aside from them providing clothes in keeping with her status as a Lannister captive (such as for her wedding), she was not free to do such things anymore. Therefore, whatever clothing she had prior to capture was all she would have available - although it would be fair to say that she probably had a lot of outfits to begin with.

Besides, who would she go to to have them discreetly dye what is quite clearly a Kingsguard cloak, without attracting some sort of suspicion over where she got it? That is too big a risk for someone who is a prisoner whose whereabouts have to be accounted for almost constantly.

Do we know for sure that #3 is true, that she did not have Sandor's white cloak stuffed in whatever small items she took with her ?

I have always thought she took Sandor's white cloak with her, and that its significance in her story is that of the very few items she did take, that it was one and therefore was important.

Therefore, I find it a bit of a reach to say she dyed something, due to the fact she probably had a dark green cloak and dark brown dress to start with. That accounts for the need to be of darker hue (to the extent she had any); it was the best compromise available at the time.

It is significant that she not only keeps it, but likely that she keeps it as a secret memento, and as close to its original condition (when left with her) as possible, or else its keepsake emotional value diminishes.

So, I think if she did take it with her, it is likely she did something equivalent to storing under her summer silks - maybe wrapped up along with a small batch of smallclothes or something.

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Do we know for sure that #3 is true, that she did not have Sandor's white cloak stuffed in whatever small items she took with her ?

I have always thought she took Sandor's white cloak with her, and that its significance in her story is that of the very few items she did take, that it was one and therefore was important.

The issue with this is that I believe the cloak would've been to big.

I think the Kinsguard cloaks are described somewhere as being wool (I seem to remember Sansa being very happy to have the cloak when Joffrey had her stripped naked - the scratchy wool felt like the finest velvet, something like that?). Sandor is very tall, so the cloak would have to be what? About 6 by 3 foot? A piece of wool that big would be very bulky and that makes me think that the only way she can still have it is if she wore it when she escaped. I share your hesitations about the practical feasibility, though.

And on top of that, I could be wrong about the wool. Or it is even possible that he has several KG cloaks out of different materials and the one he wore the night of the battle was not woolen.

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# 2 occurred when she still had the sort of access that allowed her to do this. After becoming a captive, aside from them providing clothes in keeping with her status as a Lannister captive (such as for her wedding), she was not free to do such things anymore. Therefore, whatever clothing she had prior to capture was all she would have available - although it would be fair to say that she probably had a lot of outfits to begin with.

Not true. You're again confusing the timelines, so please go back and read carefully the sequence of events: we have posited that she dyed the cloak green before she married, a period of time when she had a relative freedom of movement as long as she didn't step out of certain parts of the Red Keep, and she could even go to the well, where she heard the washerwomen talk about Osmund Kettleblack. So, who’s to tell that she couldn't have asked them to wash any clothes of hers or asked them for a bit of dye even? Who’s going to run to Cersei with this trifle? And later, when she met the Tyrells, she could go out of the castle with permission. She did have the opportunity to sew and embroider when she was with the Tyrell girls, when she wasn't strictly followed and no one would mind what she was doing with a large piece of what looked like just woollen fabric, otherwise, if she was so guarded as you suppose, pray explain how did the queen's spies miss that she had gotten a valuable piece of jewelry as was the amethyst hairnet?

And there's no indication whatsoever that the Lannisters provided her with any new clothes up until the very moment of her forced wedding. Because there's the fact that Sansa remarks that her dresses had gotten very tight during her year of captivity, and even after most of her clothes were ruined when she set fire to her bedding, there's no indication in the text that the Lannisters gave her anything but a shift (which is of thin fabric) for the moment, to go see Cersei, and from then onwards until she's measured for her marriage trousseau, she doesn't have any but what we can assume were her few dresses saved from/not ruined by the smoke.

Besides, who would she go to to have them discreetly dye what is quite clearly a Kingsguard cloak, without attracting some sort of suspicion over where she got it? That is too big a risk for someone who is a prisoner whose whereabouts have to be accounted for almost constantly.

Quite clearly, really? As I’ve pointed out before, Kingsguard cloaks don’t have any distinctive marks on them, so it's not like Sandor's sigil was embroidered on it or if there was something on it that would make it recognisable as a Kingsguard cloak for sure to anyone who looked at it, and nobody save for Sansa and the Hound knew whose cloak it is, or how it ended in her possession and it wasn't made of finer fabrics like the other royal bodyguards', either. Take a look at Medieval cloaks, for example the cloaks of the Knights Templar, which are similar to the Kingsguard ones except for the red cross, and you will see that they are basically just large square pieces of fabric with trimming and cords or buttons, or brooches, for keeping them wrapped around the shoulders. Sandor's cloaks were always of simple roughspun fabric, unadorned, so on glance the bloody cloak will look like just a piece of stained woollen fabric, and ripped at that. Sandor ripped a piece of it for bandages, so it wasn't complete, plus take the cords or buttons off and it doesn't look like a cloak anymore. Sansa could have claimed it was a ruined piece of cloth belonging to her, which she could then sew and embroider and dye to make herself a new one, especially if she used the justification that it was part of the clothing that got ruined in the fire at her bedchamber, as Brashcandy posited.

Do we know for sure that #3 is true, that she did not have Sandor's white cloak stuffed in whatever small items she took with her ?

I have always thought she took Sandor's white cloak with her, and that its significance in her story is that of the very few items she did take, that it was one and therefore was important.


Re-reading ASOS Sansa V would have rendered this question completely unnecessary, for then it'd have been clear to you that she escaped with nothing save her clothes on and the hairnet in her pocket.

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It is significant that she not only keeps it, but likely that she keeps it as a secret memento, and as close to its original condition (when left with her) as possible, or else its keepsake emotional value diminishes.

So, I think if she did take it with her, it is likely she did something equivalent to storing under her summer silks - maybe wrapped up along with a small batch of smallclothes or something.

How exactly does the emotional value diminish? We already know that the cloak has meaning to her because she decides to keep it hidden in her cedar chest, when she could have simply discarded it the morning after. So the cloak's sentimental value cannot be downgraded after this very telling act. By working on the cloak, and dyeing it into something she can wear, Sansa shows just how attached she is to it in fact, because now she can have it as a functional garment, whilst keeping the emotional resonance all to herself and without having to worry about someone wondering why she's attached to a garment in such a state. The only scents associated with the cloak would be smoke, blood and vomit, and I highly doubt these are smells meant to increase one's emotional attachment to a loved one overtime. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter what the cloak looks or smells like I'd argue, it's simply because it belonged to Sandor, and changing its appearance doesn't change that.

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EmmaoftheCanals-- the cloak was wool--


"She found his cloak on the floor, twisted up tight, the white wool stained by blood and fire." ACoK, ch.62



A wool cloak large enough to cover Sandor Clegane, unmodified as suggested, would hardly fit in a pocket. As Milady noted above, Sansa left KL with only the clothes on her back-- evidenced by her treacherous climb down the face of a cliff, hardly a situation to be carrying a bundle of extra clothing.



As for her relative freedom as we discussed earlier, after the Blackwater she had more freedom through her brief friendship with the Tyrell women. And on the subject of dyes, most medieval fabric dye was made from plants. I find it very significant that an olive green dye can be achieved by using the peel of a pomegranate to obtain yellow, mordanted with iron to get the final green. (Other common food items that could be used to obtain the initial yellow-- saffron, onionskins, turmeric and a host of flowers-- many of which would be freely available to Sansa even in her captivity)



I think Milady covered the rest quite well.


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How exactly does the emotional value diminish? We already know that the cloak has meaning to her because she decides to keep it hidden in her cedar chest, when she could have simply discarded it the morning after. So the cloak's sentimental value cannot be downgraded after this very telling act. By working on the cloak, and dyeing it into something she can wear, Sansa shows just how attached she is to it in fact, because now she can have it as a functional garment, whilst keeping the emotional resonance all to herself and without having to worry about someone wondering why she's attached to a garment in such a state. The only scents associated with the cloak would be smoke, blood and vomit, and I highly doubt these are smells meant to increase one's emotional attachment to a loved one overtime. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter what the cloak looks or smells like I'd argue, it's simply because it belonged to Sandor, and changing its appearance doesn't change that.

I would suggest that secretly changing the cloak and then wearing it publicly fits very well with Sansa's character development. We see her rebelling in her thoughts increasingly throughout her arc, and publicly making small acts of defiance (refusing to bend her knees for Tyrion comes to mind...)

How delicious for her to be hugging this particular secret close while first remaking and then wearing the cloak in the open, for all to see.

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Once again, under the influence of too many late night conversations and Dornish red, Milady and I are presenting a crackpottish theory for consideration :) Whilst the others have been fairly straightforward, this one is more symbolical, touching on the "magic" of the Old Gods, and the role it could have in the EB's outstanding healing powers, of which Sandor was a beneficiary. Special mention goes to Bran Vras, whose architectural ponderings on the Quiet Isle sparked the ideas contained here.


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The Elder Brother’s healing powers: Enhanced by the Old Gods?



Caves in Westeros seem to be magical in one way or another, in relation to the Old Gods especially, “the gods of the forest, stream, and stone, the old gods whose names are secret,” as Maester Luwin told Brandon Stark, for their powers seem to be stronger in those sites when the combination of rock and water and weirwood is present. There are three sites in particular where this criterion seems to apply: the cave on the hillside where Arya is brought to by the Brotherhood without Banners, the cave of the children of the forest where Brandon is, and the cave at the Quiet Isle.



It’s the latter the one that interests us. This cave is from the First Men period, pre-Conquest, and likely it was a place similar to the cave occupied by the outlaws and the one where Bloodraven dwells. Note the description:



Brother Narbert led the visitors around a chestnut tree to a wooden door set in the side of the hill.


“A cave with a door?” Ser Hyle said, surprised.


Septon Meribald smiled. “It is called the Hermit’s Hole. The first holy man to find his way here lived therein, and worked such wonders that others came to join him. That was two thousand years ago, they say. The door came somewhat later.”


Perhaps two thousand years ago the Hermit’s Hole had been a damp, dark place, floored with dirt and echoing to the sounds of dripping water, but no longer. The cave that Brienne and her companions entered had been turned into a warm, snug sanctum. Woolen carpets covered the ground, tapestries the walls. Tall beeswax candles gave more than ample light. The furnishings were strange but simple; a long table, a settle, a chest, several tall cases full of books, and chairs.


All were made from driftwood, oddly shaped pieces cunningly joined together and polished till they shone a deep gold in the candlelight.



The description of damp, dark, dirty and with a water stream that ran therein in the past sounds quite similar to Bran’s cave, and not so dissimilar from the one sheltering the Brotherhood, all of which are also by a hillside like the first. Only weirwoods are missing for the parallel to be complete. Or are they missing, really? Given that the floor and the walls are covered with carpets and tapestries, at first glance it would seem that these trees aren’t present. Yet, as suggested by Bran Vras, the carpets could be hiding weirwood roots, and not only that but also fossilised weirwood branches or roots in the walls, covered by tapestries, and there can even be an entire intact network of weirwood roots inside the hill, which probably was a hill of the children of the forest long ago. If so, then it would indicate that the cave has still some remnants of the Old Gods magic about.



This brings us to the key point of our hypothesis:



The first holy man to find his way here lived therein, and worked such wonders that others came to join him.



So, we learn that the first inhabitant of that cave was a man who “worked wonders.” What sort of wonders, we can’t know for sure, but could part of his powers be related to healing? We have seen that Old Gods magic can lengthen and prolong human life, and though we’ve not seen on-page yet how their powers work applied to healing wounds and illnesses, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider that their magic can heal lost/impossible cases, such as Brandon’s survival from a fall that by all means should’ve killed him would demonstrate.



The Elder Brother is said to possess amazing healing powers, superior to the knowledge and abilities of healers trained at the Citadel, and to be able to deal with lost cases, to have “restored many a man to health that even the maesters could not cure, and many a woman too.” What if that gift is a result from some knowledge or power he acquired in the Quiet Isle that comes from the Old Gods, and that is linked to the cave? His office is in this cave, and if there’s magic still there, then it could be the source of his healing powers.



We’ve not been told where he takes the infirm to heal them, likely to the quarters destined for this in the Isle. But maybe he takes the most severe and hopeless cases to the cave and attends them there personally. If he does, then there’s the possibility that he could’ve taken Sandor there to recover from his leg wound. This would mean Sandor’s survival and recovery could have potentially been due to the power of the Old Gods/weirwoods working through the Elder Brother’s ministrations at his deathbed by the river and in a place where their magic is still present if diminished, because even though there was no gangrene, the infection would’ve truly killed him. It takes about six days to go from where he “died” to Saltpans riding on horseback, so even if the Elder Brother found him the same day that Arya left him, it’d have taken at least one week to arrive to the Quiet Isle, and poultice or not, he was in a feverish state to be moved and too debilitated by malnutrition as well. If the Elder Brother’s powers come from the Old Gods, then his recovery is even more so guaranteed to be complete, as the wound itself isn’t that serious. The real threat was the infection, complicated by high fever, not the wound per se. Take Drogo and Hoat, for example, their wounds were small, yet infection killed them; and even now, infections on a toe can get serious if fever strikes, antibiotics and all.



The issue is that the Elder Brother is a worshipper of the Seven, not a tree-worshipper; but perhaps he’s not aware of the true source of his powers of healing, or doesn’t seem to be. He was a knight, which indicates he was raised in the Faith since childhood as the majority of Southrons, and he doesn’t look the erudite type of monk either, but the "action" monk, as shown by his wandering far out of his monastery on whatever errands he was in, and that Brienne notes he’s still lean and fit even though he should not be given it’s been decades since he was a soldier, so this indicates he’s active to keep his physical fitness. Such a practical man would have an acceptable knowledge of the North and their religious beliefs, and he appears to be tolerant overall, so likely he might be receptive but guarded about the Old Gods.



And then, we encounter an interesting parallel with the direwolf Lady as well. Notice where Lady’s body ended up after her death:



Bran felt all cold inside. “She lost her wolf,” he said, weakly, remembering the day when four of his father’s guardsmen had returned from the south with Lady’s bones. Summer and Grey Wind and Shaggydog had begun to howl before they crossed the drawbridge, in voices drawn and desolate. Beneath the shadow of the First Keep was an ancient lichyard, its headstones spotted with pale lichen, where the old Kings of Winter had laid their faithful servants. It was there they buried Lady, while her brothers stalked between the graves like restless shadows.



And now note where Sandor Clegane ended up after the “death” of the Hound:



On the upper slopes they saw three boys driving sheep, and higher still they passed a lichyard where a brother bigger than Brienne was struggling to dig a grave. From the way he moved, it was plain to see that he was lame. As he flung a spadeful of the stony soil over one shoulder, some chanced to spatter against their feet. “Be more watchful there,” chided Brother Narbert. “Septon Meribald might have gotten a mouthful of dirt.” The gravedigger lowered his head. When Dog went to sniff him, he dropped his spade and scratched his ear.



He’s digging graves in a lichyard, just like Lady’s burial place. In all the books, there are only two weirwood-lichyard connections in total: Winterfell and the Quiet Isle, if the theory on hidden weirwoods in that cave is right. It’s been hypothetised that Sansa’s continued dreams of Lady, a total of four times since she lost her (five if we count the wind at the Eyrie sounding like a ghost wolf as an allusion to her), could be attributed to the animal being buried in the Winterfell lichyard, which has a connection to the godswood. However, of all the times Sansa mentions her direwolf, only two are dreams properly, and in both she sees herself running in the godswood with Lady:



She had been dreaming, she realized. Lady was with her, and they were running together, and ... and ... trying to remember was like trying to catch the rain with her fingers. The dream faded, and Lady was dead again.


. . .


That was such a sweet dream, Sansa thought drowsily. She had been back in Winterfell, running through the godswood with her Lady. Her father had been there, and her brothers, all of them warm and safe. If only dreaming could make it so ...



The other two times it’s a consciously voiced desire for the company of Lady, and in both occasions Clegane makes an appearance before or after the direwolf’s name is mentioned:



Sansa backed away from the window, retreating toward the safety of her bed. I'll go to sleep, she told herself, and when I wake it will be a new day, and the sky will be blue again. The fighting will be done and someone will tell me whether I'm to live or die. "Lady," she whimpered softly, wondering if she would meet her wolf again when she was dead.


Then something stirred behind her, and a hand reached out of the dark and grabbed her wrist.



That night Sansa scarcely slept at all, but tossed and turned just as she had aboard the Merling King. She dreamt of Joffrey dying, but as he clawed at his throat and the blood ran down across his fingers she saw with horror that it was her brother Robb. And she dreamed of her wedding night too, of Tyrion's eyes devouring her as she undressed. Only then he was bigger than Tyrion had any right to be, and when he climbed into bed his face was scarred only on one side. "I'll have a song from you," he rasped, and Sansa woke and found the old blind dog beside her once again. “I wish that you were Lady,” she said.



So, considering that the weirwood at Winterfell is responsible for whatever magic there is in the lichyard that maintains Sansa’s link to her direwolf, then the hidden weirwood in the cave could have the same function as well, in relation to Sandor. If the Old Gods had a hand in Sandor ending up replacing her as Sansa’s protector after Lady died, then it’d be thematically fitting that they’d have to do with his recovery after the Hound “died” as well. And if both protectors of Sansa have been “nurtured” by the Old Gods, and end up in a lichyard, it would suggest that Sandor is officially ordained as Lady’s replacement, and through doing this penance there he’s now recognisably assuming this duty.


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The Elder Brother’s healing powers: Enhanced by the Old Gods?

Caves in Westeros seem to be magical in one way or another, in relation to the Old Gods especially, “the gods of the forest, stream, and stone, the old gods whose names are secret,” as Maester Luwin told Brandon Stark, for their powers seem to be stronger in those sites when the combination of rock and water and weirwood is present. There are three sites in particular where this criterion seems to apply: the cave on the hillside where Arya is brought to by the Brotherhood without Banners, the cave of the children of the forest where Brandon is, and the cave at the Quiet Isle.

<snip>

I don't know where to go with this, but it raises a number of interesting possibilities.

The BwB cave is quite clearly an Old Gods cave much like the Bran/Bloodraven cave. Beric is portrayed as a Bloodraven parallel with his one eye and his seeming to rise from a weirwood root throne. Assuming the Quiet Isle cave is similar that gives us a Red God figure and a Faith figure occupying Old God caves. In both cases they are figures who seem dedicated to the "true" path of their religions rather than the biblical Pharisees and Sadducees types we see immersed in Essos and Kings Landing (at least prior to the sparrow High Septon.) I've never found or been able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for the Beric/Bloodraven parallels which seems so very intentional but this fits with that theme.

There has been a great deal of speculation about Old God healing and resurrection surrounding Jon's stabbing and this idea of connecting Old Gods places to healing opens up an enormous amount of possibilities in that regard.

The Jon speculation brings us to a third lichyard that seems to have a degree of importance and that is the one at Castle Black. It is most commonly considered in reference to Borroq and his boar taking up residence there (with added significance given the connection between boar being served and regime change in the series.) But that lichyard is also the place Jon chooses for the departure of Sam, Aemon and Gilly.

Sam seemed to sag. “As my lord commands. Does … does Maester Aemon know?”

“It was as much his idea as mine.” Jon opened the door for him. “No farewells. The fewer folk who know of this, the better. An hour before first light, by the lichyard.”

The skinchanger was to accompany Soren Shieldbreaker to Stonedoor once the wayns carrying the Seal-skinner’s clan to Greenguard returned. Until such time, Borroq had taken up residence in one of the ancient tombs beside the castle lichyard. The company of men long dead seemed to suit him better than that of the living, and his boar seemed happy rooting amongst the graves, well away from other animals. “That thing is the size of a bull, with tusks as long as swords. Ghost would go after him if he were loose, and one or both of them would not survive the meeting.”

The departure is one of those outstanding moments because it is covered in both Sam and Jon's POVs and (at least to the best of my recollection) is the only time Martin has done this in the series. Tyrion recalls a bit of his Meereen jousting in a flashback that we also witness live in Dany's POV but they never interact. The Sam and Jon chapters are the very same events where each explicitly tries to read the other and we get the actual internal thoughts replayed from the other's POV. The scene also has the snowflakes melting in the hair reference to Robb which comes up more often with Jon but also with Sansa in her Snow Winterfell chapter.

The Winterfell lichyard also comes up in Theon's chapters

The missing toes on his left foot had left him with a crabbed, awkward gait, comical to look upon. Back behind him, he heard a woman laugh. Even here in this half-frozen lichyard of a castle, surrounded by snow and ice and death, there were women. Washerwomen. That was the polite way of saying camp follower, which was the polite way of saying whore.

Where they came from Theon could not say.

The next morning Ser Aenys Frey’s grizzled squire was found naked and dead of exposure in the old castle lichyard, his face so obscured by hoarfrost that he appeared to be wearing a mask. Ser Aenys put it forth that the man had drunk too much and gotten lost in the storm, though no one could explain why he had taken off his clothes to go outside. Another drunkard, Theon thought. Wine could drown a host of suspicions.

Aside from the Gravedigger on the Quiet Isle, lichyards come up twice in Brienne before she reaches the Quiet Isle.

Brienne’s head was empty. I should have made up some name for her. Any name would do, but none came to her.

“No name? Well, the roads are full of nameless girls.”

“The lichyard’s even fuller,” said his wife.

No sign marked the Stinking Goose. It took her most of an hour to find it, down a flight of wooden steps beneath a knacker’s barn. The cellar was dim and the ceiling low, and Brienne thumped her head on a beam as she entered. No geese were in evidence. A few stools were scattered about, and a bench had been shoved up against one earthen wall. The tables were old wine casks, grey and wormholed. The promised stink pervaded everything. Mostly it was wine and damp and mildew, her nose told her, but there was a little of the privy too, and something of the lichyard.

There definitely seems to be some running symbolism in the lichyard theme which would tie Sandor, at least symbolically, to loyal servants of Winterfell. If, relative to the first crackpot, the Elder Brother has picked up the sword again, that ties him more to Beric's role with the BwB and an Old Gods cave furthers the parallel.

I suppose Sandor going from the Red God in a weirwood cave to the Faith in a weirwood cave could be part of a trajectory too but I'd need to ponder that more. These two caves for Sandor are more circumstantially linked to Arya and I still don't have a good feel for the reason behind the recurring "sept" theme in her chapters.

That the first holy man could work wonders is a strong hint to look at the place rather than the man and my overall sense is that it fits well with the themes we have so far. I confess the whole lichyard thing is what struck me most even though I don't have any specific conclusions yet.

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Not true. You're again confusing the timelines, so please go back and read carefully the sequence of events: we have posited that she dyed the cloak green before she married, a period of time when she had a relative freedom of movement as long as she didn't step out of certain parts of the Red Keep, and she could even go to the well, where she heard the washerwomen talk about Osmund Kettleblack. So, who’s to tell that she couldn't have asked them to wash any clothes of hers or asked them for a bit of dye even? Who’s going to run to Cersei with this trifle? And later, when she met the Tyrells, she could go out of the castle with permission. She did have the opportunity to sew and embroider when she was with the Tyrell girls, when she wasn't strictly followed and no one would mind what she was doing with a large piece of what looked like just woollen fabric, otherwise, if she was so guarded as you suppose, pray explain how did the queen's spies miss that she had gotten a valuable piece of jewelry as was the amethyst hairnet?

Relative freedom of movement? Very little.*

Don't forget, the godswood was the only place she could meet Dontos away from the "little birds". She was being watched, even if a guard was not standing right beside her, nobody was going to let such a valuable hostage wander about doing unsanctioned activities, unless they seemed completely innocent.

Recall that the Tyrells - Lannister allies - pretty much summoned her to that meeting; she was not free to go visit whomever she chose. Even with the precaution the Tyrells took in speaking to her, she still felt very afraid to say anything negative. There was an atmosphere of justified paranoia surrounding every interaction she had with anyone in King's Landing. If the gift of a hairnet seemed like no big deal, it was because it seemed like nothing of a nefarious nature.

So I maintain, if she had gone with some white cloak that clearly was not hers, not long after the Hound disappeared, and had it dyed, this would have raised someone's suspicions - someone other than a washerwoman.

*Note: If anything, her freedom of movement would have been less during the earlier part of her captivity, when she was still valuable as a hostage against Robb. Her wedding to Tyrion diminished the damage to their cause if she had escaped, and the Red Wedding reduced it even more.

How exactly does the emotional value diminish? We already know that the cloak has meaning to her because she decides to keep it hidden in her cedar chest, when she could have simply discarded it the morning after. So the cloak's sentimental value cannot be downgraded after this very telling act. By working on the cloak, and dyeing it into something she can wear, Sansa shows just how attached she is to it in fact, because now she can have it as a functional garment, whilst keeping the emotional resonance all to herself and without having to worry about someone wondering why she's attached to a garment in such a state. The only scents associated with the cloak would be smoke, blood and vomit, and I highly doubt these are smells meant to increase one's emotional attachment to a loved one overtime. Ultimately though, it doesn't matter what the cloak looks or smells like I'd argue, it's simply because it belonged to Sandor, and changing its appearance doesn't change that.

Perhaps so, but I figured in its original condition it reminds her of that night more, plus the white of his kingsguard uniform being more tied to his having saved her life during the riot.

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The Elder Brother’s healing powers: Enhanced by the Old Gods?

*snip*

So, basically, the idea here is the cave itself is the source of magic ? Any speculation why those of the Faith would receive the gift of the Old Gods ?

~ 6000 years of Andal history in Westeros; the QI may have been one of the oldest sanctuaries of the Faith.

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The Elder Brother’s healing powers: Enhanced by the Old Gods?

snip

Ok, this has given me some ideas I'd like to share. I wrote an extensive theory here that The Old Gods are the closest beings we're like to get into the series since they're the union of ice and fire, and thus all magic flows form them. People argue that such dichotomy exists in Rh'llorism also, I'd say that Rh'llorism represents the division, while Old Gods represent Union of Ice and Fire.

The fact that we're considering these three places mentioned here as magical is agreeable, but notice the common factor here remains the weiwoods. It's from them that the magic is flowing. About Thoros, we know that his magic is different than Melisandre's magic, so can we assume that the Old Gods are assisting him, or calling to him in some way, or Blood raven is involved here? Because we know that Thoros hasn't converted his faith from Arya's POV.

Also notice that the two people working wonders here- The Elder Brother and Thoros are working for a just cause, to bring stability to the realm, to bring justice and peace. Is it possible that the Old Gods are assisting them (Or Bloodraven is) by channeling magic through them? I'd really like to here some opinions about that. Because I do believe that it will be revealed that the old gods, or broadly speaking anything that embodies the ice and fire symbolism are the key to all magic - ex Obsidian or Frozen Fire.

As for the trajectory that Ragnarok mentions, it is a manifestation of the same change of faith that leads from dichotomy to union, to balance, from Rh'llorism to the Old Faih. :)

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Because I do believe that it will be revealed that the old gods, or broadly speaking anything that embodies the ice and fire symbolism are the key to all magic - ex Obsidian or Frozen Fire.

Right, and they just happened to make a brief excursion way out east in Essos near a certain funeral pyre......

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Right, and they just happened to make a brief excursion way out east in Essos near a certain funeral pyre......

It wasn't an exception, it was blood magic, life force. I do discuss it in the thread. It's always better to read the thread first than making a sarcastic snide remark and being disrespectful. :(

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It wasn't an exception, it was blood magic, life force. I do discuss it in the thread. It's always better to read the thread first than making a sarcastic snide remark and being disrespectful. :(

And what does magic in Essos, blood magic or not, have to do with the old gods and weirwoods? You said "the foundation of all magic": there is magic in Essos with nary a weirwood in sight. If you meant to exclude, e.g. Red Priests reading the flames, e.g., you should have said so. (And that is also magic, and not blood magic either--- do better next time).

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And what does magic in Essos, blood magic or not, have to do with the old gods and weirwoods? You said "the foundation of all magic": there is magic in Essos with nary a weirwood in sight. If you meant to exclude, e.g. Red Priests reading the flames, e.g., you should have said so. (And that is also magic, and not blood magic either--- do better next time).

I don't believe this is the thread to discuss this. So just a short reply - magic as a force I believe is represented by two elements of ice and fire, which the weirwoods embody quite perfectly. This ice and fire union, and not weirwoods are the key for magic, weirwoods just represent the symbolism correctly. I presented no analysis on Red Priests because I don't have enough info on them. But it would help if you read the analysis and commented on what part you disagree with.

One final thing, your tone is getting rude now. If you can't argue in a civil way then don't bother please.

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Relative freedom of movement? Very little.*

Don't forget, the godswood was the only place she could meet Dontos away from the "little birds". She was being watched, even if a guard was not standing right beside her, nobody was going to let such a valuable hostage wander about doing unsanctioned activities, unless they seemed completely innocent.

Recall that the Tyrells - Lannister allies - pretty much summoned her to that meeting; she was not free to go visit whomever she chose. Even with the precaution the Tyrells took in speaking to her, she still felt very afraid to say anything negative. There was an atmosphere of justified paranoia surrounding every interaction she had with anyone in King's Landing. If the gift of a hairnet seemed like no big deal, it was because it seemed like nothing of a nefarious nature.

So I maintain, if she had gone with some white cloak that clearly was not hers, not long after the Hound disappeared, and had it dyed, this would have raised someone's suspicions - someone other than a washerwoman.

Pod, you're arguing against the text at this point. During her time with the Tyrells, Sansa is at her happiest and most carefree, able to accompany Marg and her cousins in their excursions on the castle grounds, and in their various pastimes. She didn't need to fear anyone overhearing that she's working on the Hound's cloak, because it's obviously something she keeps to herself, just like she does the secret of the unkiss, despite the cousins playing their kissing games. And what about needlework doesn't seem completely innocent? We've already noted the reasons why the Hound's KG cloak would have escaped the attention of a random washerwoman, or even one of her bedmaids specifically charged with spying on her. No one knows the connection between Sansa and Sandor, or that he came to her room that night, so there's nothing to arouse suspicion between his desertion and her possessing a white cloak. And I really don't know how something as visibly valuable as the hairnet might escape notice, but a burnt, bloodied and torn cloak cannot.

*Note: If anything, her freedom of movement would have been less during the earlier part of her captivity, when she was still valuable as a hostage against Robb. Her wedding to Tyrion diminished the damage to their cause if she had escaped, and the Red Wedding reduced it even more.

No one has suggested that because Sansa had relatively more freedom with the Tyrells that it meant the Lannisters were ever careless or lax about her value as a hostage. We see just how quickly they move to secure her marriage to Tyrion upon learning that the Tyrells want her for Willas.

Ok, this has given me some ideas I'd like to share. I wrote an extensive theory here that The Old Gods are the closest beings we're like to get into the series since they're the union of ice and fire, and thus all magic flows form them. People argue that such dichotomy exists in Rh'llorism also, I'd say that Rh'llorism represents the division, while Old Gods represent Union of Ice and Fire.

Very interesting thoughts AryaK. I will check out your thread for more detail.

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I saw someone elsewhere question why Sansa would add a hood onto the cloak, and it got me thinking.



Hoods are used for two things - protection and concealment.



We see the NW protect themselves against the cold with hoods. We know Bloodraven used a hooded cloak to protect against the sun. So the idea of a hood as a 'protector' fits very well with Lady Gwyn's assertion that Sansa has made a 'shield'.



More pertinently, we have the numerous examples of people wearing hoods to conceal their identities. The hooded man, Cat, Varys, the Hound among others. This fits with Sansa who is trying not only to conceal her identity, but also to 'hang on to herself'. In creating a hood for her shield, Sansa might be doing so to remind herself that she's Sansa Stark. The hood might be symbolic of her inner resistance, as she conceals her true self and feelings from not only those at the Vale buying LF's ruse - but from LF himself. Again, this fits with Lady Gwyn's notion of the cloak becoming a 'shield'.


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Relative freedom of movement? Very little.*

*Note: If anything, her freedom of movement would have been less during the earlier part of her captivity, when she was still valuable as a hostage against Robb. Her wedding to Tyrion diminished the damage to their cause if she had escaped, and the Red Wedding reduced it even more.

I can’t recommend enough to read the sequence of events in the text carefully, to avoid bringing the same arguments again and again ad infinitum. Once more, I have to reiterate that we’re not speaking of her earliest months of captivity just as we weren’t speaking of her time as a woman married to a Lannister, we’re speaking of the period of time from Blackwater when her betrothal was annulled until her forced marriage, when she did have more freedom of movement than in all her period of captivity and she no longer was escorted everywhere by a Kingsguard member like she used to when she was still the King’s betrothed. Did you perchance happen to notice in her chapters that, after the betrothal was annulled, she no longer has a royal guard following her? Only Loras escorted her once, and he went to fetch her as a Tyrell, not a Kingsguard. And notice also that when she was still a Queen-to-be, a Kingsguard man stopped her at the drawbridge of Maegor’s at night to question her about where she had gone and Sandor had to distract Boros to assist her, but right after the betrothal is called off she passed that same drawbridge at night in her way to meet Dontos and the Kingsguard on duty doesn’t stop her to question her. The text does indicate that she did have freedom of movement within the castle without as much vigilance as before; and soon as she herself noted “Margaery’s presence changed everything” for Sansa, she had even more freedom then, she could move more, do activities she hadn’t the chance for before, and go out of the castle in hawking excursions with them.

Don't forget, the godswood was the only place she could meet Dontos away from the "little birds". She was being watched, even if a guard was not standing right beside her, nobody was going to let such a valuable hostage wander about doing unsanctioned activities, unless they seemed completely innocent.

Why did she have to meet him there in the first place? Because that was an escape plan! What she had to do with the white cloak doesn’t require the same amount of logistics and secretiveness as planning to flee from the castle.

And dying a piece of cloth, sewing and embroidering it to make herself a new cloak are now “unsanctioned” activities which don’t seem completely innocent, so it necessarily had to be reported? To suggest that an activity every noblewoman did when there wasn't anything else to do requires close watching and vigilance because, somehow, it’s more suspicious and more worthy of being reported than receiving a piece of costly jewelry, is at best preposterous.

Recall that the Tyrells - Lannister allies - pretty much summoned her to that meeting; she was not free to go visit whomever she chose. Even with the precaution the Tyrells took in speaking to her, she still felt very afraid to say anything negative. There was an atmosphere of justified paranoia surrounding every interaction she had with anyone in King's Landing.

Again, you're referring to the beginning of her interaction with the Tyrells, to her first meeting with them, back when she was justifiably wary because she didn’t know how they’d treat her and what their intentions were, and we’re speaking of the time when the friendship with Margaery and her cousins had evolved, and she did have more freedom because they invited her to their activities and she was comfortably participating in them with no other worries save for what Joffrey could do to Margaery when married.

And then once more you’re equating extremely risky activities such as revealing Joffrey’s true nature and the extent of her abuse at his hands, that is: high treason that would’ve cost Sansa either her life or a horrendous beating if discovered, to something done for the sole purpose of keeping a piece of cloth, which isn’t comparable.

If the gift of a hairnet seemed like no big deal, it was because it seemed like nothing of a nefarious nature.

It seemed like it was “no big deal” because no one found out in the first place, and it didn’t pose a problem for the very reason that they didn’t know she had it. Simple as that. Had it been discovered, it would have been a big deal, because Cersei knew which jewels Sansa had and whether they were hers and who gave it to her when not, like the moonstones she got from Joffrey, so if a hostage with not a coin to her name suddenly turns out to have a new and valuable amethyst hairnet in her possession, you can be sure it’d have been suspicious and she’d have been made to answer for that, questioned about how she got it and who gave it to her. Only the fact that they didn’t discover it kept it a secret, and why did they not find it? Because at the time she wasn’t as closely guarded as before or shared a bedchamber with someone else like later.

So I maintain, if she had gone with some white cloak that clearly was not hers, not long after the Hound disappeared, and had it dyed, this would have raised someone's suspicions - someone other than a washerwoman.

Only if one chose to ignore that the cloak no longer looked like a white Kingsguard cloak and that anyone would’ve known it was “clearly” not hers but Sandor’s, when all it looked like was a dirty piece of woollen cloth that needed washing and dying to be re-usable.

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