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Anonymous asked: How do you know it's d&d? isn't there something about a "controversial" sansa chapter in TWOW? maybe it's actually going to be something from the book
sansasnark answered:

because Sophie has read her scripts for season 5 and she was talking about the show and knows nothing of the next book.

Honestly Sansa ~using her sexuality~ is just… not /her/ at all, she doesn’t knowingly or independently do this in the books, and she doesn’t really show any inclination to other than to just go along with what Petyr wants (and she isn’t okay with it, nor is she using it to some advantage). imo, I’ve pictured her manipulation of him being more along the lines of going along with his plans, publicly aligning with him (i.e. the Alayne facade) and playing up the innocent girl image rather than a sexualised one. It’s such a complex dynamic and it does both characters a disservice to make it some kind of femme fatale thing, Sansa is FOURTEEN (thirteen in the books and at the very oldest I would estimate fifteen in the show). D&D seem to struggle a lot with writing female characters who aren’t a hollow, poorly conceived “badass” or “seductress” trope and it looks like they’re going with the latter with Sansa. To make her more interesting to dudebros now that Sophie is 18, I suppose (and hey, it’s working with all those maddening comments about how Sansa is “finally” interesting and “finally” playing the game).

Sansa is not Cersei or Margaery 2.0, she grows into her confidence through realising she is smarter than everyone has been telling her. Like George reiterated here, Sansa has her wits, just like Petyr does. imo it’s primarily her wits she uses as a weapon, not her sexuality - at least at this point, as she is a child. I had my worries about all this when she stepped out in that sexualised maleficent looking costume and it looks like my suspicions were correct.

They also skipped over so much of Sansa actually learning the game and figuring stuff out, and being taught by LF, so having her suddenly be this master manipulator and being “better” than LF has just done her development - and his, but most importantly hers - a disservice (and yes, I know she’s been manipulating for a long time, but it just went up a notch far too quickly).

So like, I don’t expect her to be in any R rated shenanigans next season, but Sansa suddenly being confident and sexual and manipulating him (and him not realising what she’s doing, jfc) is just really weird to me and I don’t feel good about it? I don’t quite know how to express myself about it because it’s uncharted territory and we don’t know what’s happening in TWOW. I just don’t think it’s this. It doesn’t feel genuine and it’s like they’ve seized the opportunity to make Sansa more interesting (in their eyes) and they’re veering off course with her development and turning her into something else.

Playful Answers For People Who Think Sansa Has to Stay Married

how-much-farther-to-go:

Playful, polite answers you can use for people who think Sansa has to stay married to Tyrion:

“She said the vows. They’re legally binding and the northmen won’t just ignore the law.

Playful Answer: “Yeah, laws do matter. Like the ones against treason, and rebellion.”

“Only the High Septon can give her an annulment, if she has her maidenhead.”

Playful Answer: “Yeah, I suppose she could just wait for the north lords or the Royces to make the trip down to Kings Landing and meet with the guy who thinks they’re demon worshippers and hates them.

Playful answer 2: “Too bad royal decrees can’t overturn vows, or else Robb could have just picked Jon to—”

“But Robb picked Jon over Sansa.”

Playful Answer: “Yes, I suppose Sansa being a far-away hostage probably wasn’t the problem for a man who needed an heir.”

“Littlefinger said Sansa had to be ‘safely widowed.’”

Playful Answer: “Yeah, even if he wanted to get an annulment from either the Lords Declarant or the High Septon he might have to lie or bribe someone or something underhanded like that. That’s not Littlefinger’s style.”

BTW, I’m a believer that Bran is coming back at the very end of the story to be the next Bran the Builder, but the idea that Sansa has no way out of her marriage is absolutely bizarre. King Bran would have every reason to overturn it by royal decree in any case, and let his sister live in peace, or let her choose a groom from an allied House, like the Royces, Glovers, Umbers etc… if she isn’t widowed which she probably will be. Why force her to stay married and make children for a cursed, nearly extinct House Lannister?

TL;DR The Starks are comin’ out on top, and Sansa won’t have to be married to anyone she doesn’t want to.

Permalink   •   Tags: #submission #sansa stark

The Bloody Cloak

radiowesteros:

This was co-written with Westeros.org contributor Milady of York.

 As has often been discussed in the Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa threads, the cloak is highly significant as a symbol of protection and comfort in Sansa Stark’s arc. In particular: the white Kingsguard cloak belonging to Sandor Clegane, which is missing and unaccounted for after that brief line in ASoS (chapter 6) in which she reveals she “had his stained white cloak hidden in a cedar chest beneath her summer silks.”

Or is it? We now present our favorite theory about what happened to Sandor’s discarded and bloodied Kingsguard cloak, as inspired by earlier work for PtP.

Let’s start by enumerating Sandor Clegane’s cloaks: apart from the Kingsguard one, only two other cloaks belonging to him are noted in the books. In AGoT, we find him associated with a bloody cloak for the first time:

There was something slung over the back of his destrier, a heavy shape wrapped in a bloody cloak. ”No sign of your daughter, Hand,” the Hound rasped down, “but the day was not wholly wasted. We got her little pet.”

AGOT, Ch.16

It’s to be noted that the colour of this cloak isn’t mentioned at all, though we can speculate that it could’ve been crimson, for two reasons: Sandor is a Lannister man whose liege lady is Cersei, and the Lannister guards and men-at-arms wear crimson cloaks as a sort of uniform, and also because his presenting the cut down body of Mycah to Lord Eddard is reminiscent of Tywin presenting the bodies of the Targaryen babies murdered by Gregor to Robert in a bloodied crimson cloak.

Then, at the Hand’s Tourney, Sandor wears an olive-green cloak when he saves Ser Loras from his monstrous brother:

Sandor Clegane was the first rider to appear. He wore an olive- green cloak over his soot-grey armor. That, and his hound’s-head helm, were his only concession to ornament

AGOT, Ch. 30

This is the only time the colour of Sandor’s cloak is noted, other than the Kingsguard white, and in contrast to the white and the red which are like uniforms, this appears to be his own personal garment.

When he joined Joffrey’s garde de corps, he would give Sansa his white cloak when she was beaten and stripped in public, which is the first demonstration on Sansa’s part that she finds his cloak comforting. The scene in ACoK where Sandor visits Sansa’s chambers after he breaks during the fiery Battle of Blackwater, should be familiar to most readers. When he has taken his song he departs, leaving his discarded cloak behind for Sansa to pick up:

She found his cloak on the floor, twisted up tight, the white wool stained by blood and fire […] She shook out the torn cloak and huddled beneath it on the floor, shivering.

ACOK, Ch. 62

In ASoS, as Sansa flees King’s Landing, she dons a deep green cloak with a large hood in the castle godswood to cover the brightness of the pearls on the bodice of her brown dress.

Dress warmly, Ser Dontos had told her, and dress dark. She had no blacks, so she chose a dress of thick brown wool. The bodice was decorated with freshwater pearls, though. The cloak will cover them. The cloak was deep green, with a large hood.

ASOS, Ch.61

 

Interestingly, Sansa has another dark cloak, a grey cloak, which may have served quite well to cover her in this occasion:

Sansa threw a plain grey cloak over her shoulders and picked up the knife she used to cut her meat. If it is some trap, better that I die than let them hurt me more, she told herself. She hid the blade under her cloak

ACOK, Ch.18

But instead of donning that one, she chose a green cloak. We propose the reason behind this is that it’s the Kingsguard cloak. Sansa has dyed Sandor’s white cloak green to cover the blood stains. We know she has used this tactic to cover “blood” stains in the past; in AGOT we read that Arya hurled a blood orange at her sister in a fit of anger and ruined her lovely new ivory silk gown:

… Arya flung the orange across the table. It caught her in the middle of the forehead with a wet squish and plopped down into her lap […] The blood orange had left a blotchy red stain on the silk.

AGOT, Ch. 44

And when next we see that gown, Sansa has come up with the solution to dye it black; ostensibly as a symbol of royal mourning, but in reality to cover the stains left by the blood orange, and she wears it when she goes before the court to plead for her father:

Her gown was the ivory silk that the queen had given her, the one Arya had ruined, but she’d had them dye it black and you couldn’t see the stain at all.

AGOT, Ch.57

The answer to the question “why green?” is twofold. First, and on a practical level, bloodstains that have failed to wash out of white fabric can often have a greenish cast, especially with wool or silk, in which case the removal of bloodstains is even harder than for other fabrics, and both Sansa’s dress and Sandor’s cloak are tailored precisely from these materials. Second, Sandor wearing the green cloak at the Tourney occurred the morning after their first significant interaction, so Sansa would have reason to remember his attire that day. Green and brown, with soot-grey are Sandor’s usual attire when he wasn’t armoured. At Joffrey’s nameday tournament he wore brown under his Kingsguard cloak, which wouldn’t be lost on Sansa either:

The white cloak of the Kingsguard was draped over his broad shoulders and fastened with a jeweled brooch, the snowy cloth looking somehow unnatural against his brown rough-spun tunic and studded leather jerkin. “Lady Sansa,” the Hound announced curtly when he saw her. 

ACok, ch.2

So the brown dress under the remade Kingsguard cloak is a perfect mirror of Sandor’s garb. The fact that she uses the green cloak to shield herself is so symbolically perfect that the conclusion almost writes itself.

Regarding the parallel of the brown and green color scheme, it’s been noted that following Eddard’s execution, Sandor entered Sansa’s chamber in similar attire:

"See that you bathe and dress as befits my betrothed." Sandor Clegane stood at his shoulder in a plain brown doublet and green mantle, his burned face hideous in the morning light. Behind them were two knights of the Kingsguard in long white satin cloaks.

Sansa drew her blanket up to her chin to cover herself. “No,” she whimpered, “please… leave me be.”

"If you won’t rise and dress yourself, my Hound will do it for you," Joffrey said.

"I beg of you, my prince."

"I’m king now. Dog, get her out of bed."

Sandor Clegane scooped her up around the waist and lifted her off the featherbed as she struggled feebly. Her blanket fell to the floor. Underneath she had only a thin bedgown to cover her nakedness. “Do as you’re bid, child,” Clegane said. “Dress.” He pushed her toward her wardrobe, almost gently.

AGoT, ch. 67

Finally, following his flight from King’s Landing and seizure of Arya and reminiscent of the soot-grey armor from the Hand’s Tourney, a similar color scheme:

The big bad-tempered courser wore neither armor, barding, nor harness, and the Hound himself was garbed in splotchy green roughspun and a soot-grey mantle with a hood that swallowed his head. ASoS, ch. 50

We don’t think it’s an accident that these colours are repeatedly associated with Sandor Clegane. Sansa mirroring Sandor’s colours in her choice of attire during her flight from King’s Landing is, for us, a sign of great significance rather than random chance.

On the matter of the hood, we don’t know for certain that Sandor’s white cloak had a hood or not, but it’s likely that it didn’t since ceremonial cloaks were of the “cape” type and generally didn’t have hoods. We would suggest that if it did not, although Sandor most likely ripped a strip from the bottom of it to use as a bandage (“Sansa heard cloth ripping…”), we should remember that he stands well over a foot taller than Sansa, so it was a large piece of cloth and it’d be easy for a young lady known to be clever with her needle to cut a cloak down and fashion a hood from the pieces.

During the period between the Blackwater and her marriage to Tyrion, Sansa spends quite a bit of time with the Tyrells. Even as Cersei orders a new wardrobe to be made for her (a gown, smallclothes and hose, kirtles, mantles and cloaks…) Sansa and the Tyrell girls:

…spent long afternoons doing needlework and talking over lemon cakes and honeyed wine […] Sansa wondered what Megga would think about kissing the Hound, as she had. 

ASoS, ch.16

With the confusion of a team of eighteen seamstresses working in her chambers and the Tyrell girls to provide camouflage, surely at some time during this interval Sansa could have found the means to remake the cloak. One poster even noted that the Tyrell color is green, so how easy to use flattery to obtain the necessary dye to disguise her keepsake!

There is an inverse parallel between Sansa using her needle to create a shield and Arya’s use of Needle as a weapon. Sansa uses her shield to protect or hide her Stark identity, while for Arya her Needle represents her Stark identity. This inverse parallel is typical of the complementary arcs of the two girls throughout the story. 

As a closing thought, it’s noteworthy that after Sansa reveals that the cloak has been hidden away under her summer silks, she doesn’t think of it again until this passage:

As the boy’s lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak

AFFC, Ch.41

This indicates to us that she has the cloak still, since she doesn’t mention what became of it nor give 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.

As discussed in Radio Westeros Episode 02 — Sansa: A Song of Innocence featuring special guest Brashcandy from the Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa project.

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sunneinsplendour:

TW: rape, abuse.

Okay, so I’ve seen a lot of conversations swirling around recently about people getting jumped on whenever they post about their dislike for female characters and how that’s implicitly unfair because you’re entitled to dislike whomever you want. Which is completely true and valid, you’re in no way obligated to want to sit around and gab about Community with Cersei Lannister all day every day. Having said that, there’s disliking someone as a person versus disliking them as a character and it’s the latter which usually attracts other people’s ire. Which is why I’ve broken it down slightly and tried to talk about the five most ridiculous reasons that female characters get hate and why these are basically invalid. By no means a comprehensive list but avoid these, and you’ll probably avoid a lot of, what one delightful person called, “angry feminist reader” backlash too. 

1. All the women are weak. 

Exhibit A why this is fundamentally incorrect: 

“The women are the strong ones.”
- Jon Snow, A Dance With Dragons.

Now, I’m not saying that Jon is the most reliable narrator in these books (he’s not) but still, when people use this as an excuse to justify their hate despite the fact that this line exists in the books I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder if we’re reading the same series. To expand on why this brand of hate is utterly idiotic, it is pretty helpful to explore why exceptions are sometimes made for Brienne and Arya. ASOIAF takes place in a medieval setting and one of the ruling tenets of a lot of medieval literature is that gender is performance (hence that one admittedly fun 12th century French tale of the woman who dresses up as a knight, falls in love with a damsel and gets turned into a man by the Virgin Mary at the end as a reward for all her good deeds). So if gender is a role to be performed, it follows that gender is essentially a social construct in Westeros. Masculinity is constructed to mean strength and rationality and intelligence whilst femininity isn’t properly constructed at all, except to be the antithesis of everything masculinity stands for. Therefore, the rationale for calling women weak is twofold: society dictates that these women should not be playing a “strong” role (and the women who come in for the most hate are, surprise, surprise, the ones who conform to the role laid out for them) and womanhood is fundamentally not set up to be strong, it’s a pretty flimsy concept, contingent upon being the Opposite to Masculinity. So if you’re going to “perform” femininity in Westeros, it’s imperative that you come off weak, that you come off as the damsel as distress not because you are but so that there is someone for the manly knight to save (because otherwise, the construct of masculinity would fall down - it only exists in binary terms, see how that works?) If Sansa and Cat and Cersei act “weak”, if they don’t go around hitting people with swords, it’s because they’re playing a game and one that’s a lot more intricate and complex to navigate than warfare. Now you could argue that the women who conform are “weak” because they don’t rebel like Arya and Brienne do but the problem with that line of thought is that Arya and Brienne don’t consciously rebel. Arya knows on a visceral level she doesn’t want to be a lady and the war creates a situation where that’s possible, Brienne simply doesn’t fit into court life so she has to give it up as an option. In fact, the only person (so far) to actually rebel, to actually call bullshit on the “gender is performance and to be female, you must behave weak” idea is Cersei who, ironically, gets a lot of hate for being weak. And if that’s a thing you believe, than I’m sorry, but your reading of these books is fundamentally wrong. Because Cersei’s a soldier as much as Jaime is, all the female characters in ASOIAF are because they have to go out on a daily basis, and fight the patriarchy that oppresses, subjugates and denies them. Yeah, we all know how hard it is to defeat a fire-breathing, three-headed dragon but imagine how much harder it is to fight an enemy that’s invisible, that the society you live in doesn’t even have a name for because it is the society you live in and to have do it, not in random spurts on bloody battlefields, but every fucking day of your life. Imagine that, and then come back and tell me how weak these women are. 

2. She’s a massive whore.

Perhaps, the objective worst reason for disliking a woman in any piece of fiction ever (and in life too). Now I could sit up and talk about how dumb it is, that someone like Sansa, a fourteen-year-old, gets hate for being an alleged slut despite being a virgin but I won’t because this isn’t a valid reason to hate on actual sex workers like Shae or Ros either. Getting over the undoubtedly revolutionary idea that women, just like men, have sexual appetites, needs and desires - that when you’re stuck in a society, that straitjackets those very urges they might end up being manifested in odd ways - and it’s no less wrong for them to try and have fulfilling sexual lives, than it is for the men, I want to deal with the theory that its Morally Objectionable for a woman to use sex as a weapon. Because the only weapon these women are allowed in these books is sex. The only way for a woman to be seen in Westerosi society is through her body - notice how there aren’t any songs about ugly ladies? Because they’re invisible and to be invisible as a Westerosi woman is next to actually not existing because the only thing you have to offer of worth - your looks - is well, worthless. So it’s just plain cruel for fandom to pounce on women for using the only tool at their disposal to get what they want. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at Catelyn Stark, an intelligent, educated woman whose sound, rational advice - don’t contradict me - is routinely ignored by the men around her. People don’t listen to women, they only see them hence why Cersei is forced to prostitute herself for power in ‘AFFC’. That’s not morally reprehensible, that’s tragic. That’s the first truth about women in the game of thrones: they’re not playing on a level battlefield as the men so yes of course, they have to back-handed, they have to be clever, they have to be ruthless towards others and themselves. But that’s not a reason to hate or judge them, that’s a reason to censure the framework they operate in, so why are you pointing your fingers at the ladies in question instead?

3. Bitches be crazy. 

This is related to refuting “all the women are weak” argument because like strength, rationality is once again the domain of the Male so it follows that whenever a woman makes a decision that appears, from the outside, to be bizarre, she is dismissed as being insane. Forget that we’re often in the head of these women when they’re doing these things, so we can literally hear the train of thoughts that takes them from Place A to Place B, people still think its okay to dismiss them as being crazy. And it’s not. If you respect GRRM as much as you claim to, than it follows he’s gifted enough not to have all his female characters behaving in ways that are unmotivated or unjustified. Take Cersei, whose a prime example for this type of hate, in ‘A Feast for Crows’. She’s constantly condemned for being paranoid and crazy but listen here’s the thing, here’s the truth at the core of Cersei’s character: she’s vulnerable. She’s always vulnerable. She’s a woman who grows up with hardly any female presences in her life, whose father has her sister-in-law gang raped, who lives in a world where the woman who would have been Queen before her is raped and murdered (and Elia Martell is a perfect symbol of how unfriendly Robert’s regime is towards women: it’s literally built on the bones of a female rape victim). So Cersei knows, from day one, what a vulnerable position she’s in as a woman, it’s the reason she can fuck with Sansa’s head so well in A Clash of Kings - a wolf surrounded by lions, because that’s who Cersei is her whole goddamn life, a woman surrounded by men. The only reprieve she has is in the form of her brother (and even he can’t save her from seventeen years of domestic abuse and marital rape - and hey, let’s keep in mind that these aren’t actually Terms That Exist in Westerosi society, so Cersei suffers almost two decades of injustice without being able to ever name that injustice, hence the absolutely imperative nature of the nominal when fighting any kind of discrimination) and in AFFC, even that’s stripped away from her, because Jaime’s not emotionally in a place where he can give his sister the support she needs. So yes, Cersei, already paranoid, already hemmed in from all sides, becomes more so but it’s not craziness, it doesn’t come out of nowhere - how can you say that, when it’s perfectly plotted out in the books. If you sincerely and genuinely believe these women are unlikable because they’re crazy, then you should put the ASOIAF books down because you don’t deserve to be reading them. 

4. Character X is responsible for huge, insurmountable tragedy Y. 

Oh God, this is a fun one (she says, loading her hypothetical shotgun). I don’t get if this is perhaps some kind of residual Eve guilt that is still being passed down through the ages but its stupid and its boring and fandom needs to stop. Let me explain cause-and-effect to you, let me demonstrate how nothing that happens in ‘Game of Thrones’ is the cause of the war of the Five Kings, not even a short-term one, the events are only catalysts. The trigger is Ned’s death but it’s still not a cause. The causes of the war are grounded in the natures of the players: Lannister greed versus Baratheon ambition and in the legacy of the Usurper’s War which is never fully resolved, namely who has the “genuine” right when the rightful king is murdered on the throne he sits on? Does anyone sit around blaming the assasination of the Archduke Ferdinand for the whole of World War I? No, because that’s not how history works. That event’s close to being equivalent to how tiny an action like Cat arresting Tyrion is to the wider backdrop of the war fermenting in Westeros, which is to say in actual time, it means chicken-shit, the war was going to happen one way or another and only happens when it does because of the specifics. You could change the specifics of the timeline a hundred times and still have the same bloody outcome which is why it’s so ridiculous and fundamentally wrong to single out one woman for causing a huge, full-scale civil war. It doesn’t happen like that. Ever. Stop pretending like it does. 

5. She’s a bad mother. 

Okay, wrapping this up quickly now because I’m almost certain my ‘read more’ cut has ceased to work, and you’re presumably sick of me, but look: a woman is not her womb. A woman’s worth does not solely reside in her womb. That’s what Westerosi society says but as readers, good lord, we’re supposed to Better Than Westerosi patriarchy not Same As. The worst imaginable possible thing a woman can be is not a bad mother. It is not okay that fandom cannot understand why these women sometimes fall down in their mothering yet can somehow mysteriously understand how Tyrion would feel “forced” to partake in the gang-rape of his own wife. Plus, if you think that, you’re not taking the circumstances into account, which is to say these women are constantly being undercut by the very society they live in! They try to teach their sons the values they believe in but it’s next to impossible for Cat to be a valued war advisor to Robb when he’s told her only worth is her appearance, it’s impossible for Cersei to actually make Joffrey understand that a King should never strike his lady when he’s constantly being told what a weak heart she has a woman. Like I’ve said before, all these women are fighting a war on two fronts - against their material enemies but also against the inexhaustible foe of a society that discriminates against them. If they’re less than perfect in that situation, if God forbid, they’re actually bad, dislike them, fine, but as people, not as characters. To dislike them as characters is to suggest what they’re saying isn’t pertinent to the narrative and that’s completely fucking wrong. Because these women are constantly saying something very important about the difficulty of living in the iron grip of a patriarchy and it’s something that’s relevant to modern dialogue too (because guess what, we don’t live in a post-feminist world, there’s no such fucking thing). To ignore them, to condemn their problems, is to deny the importance of female narratives and female problems and if you do, people will descend upon you with the wrath of vengeful Gods and it will be well within their rights to do so. 

sunneinsplendour:

Here’s the thing that often happens with women in Westeros: they’re built up to be images, not people. GRRM even makes it easy for us by giving the trifecta of feminine ideals in religious iconographic form: the Mother, the Crone and Maiden and it seems to me, that the ladies who bring out the most vitriol in fandom (in other words, not the Briennes, not the Aryas, not the Ashas) are the ones who are trying to - or forced to - occupy roles of perfect “womanhood”. 

These women are constantly dictated to on how they should look, how they should behave. Fandom seems to always forget that Sansa Stark doesn’t hitch a wagon ride to King’s Landing to land her golden prince, no, she’s engaged to Joffrey by her family and her enthusiasm to marry him is partly natural, but it’s also partly knowing her place, it’s knowing that she’s expected to be excited at the prospect of marriage, excited at the prospect of being a wife and Queen and trying to fulfil those social expectations. Similarly, Margaery Tyrell presumably doesn’t want to seduce her brother’s lover away from him but she goes along with the Baratheon marriage and she has to sleep with Renly one way or another, because it’s what society demands, that the he has to have an heir and it’s her job as the good, dutiful wife to provide him with one. 

So yeah, these women go ahead and accept social convention and then guess what, they get punished for it. Sansa spends her youth trying to be the perfect “maiden” (which involves yes, a great deal of superficiality because femininity, as a construct, is conditional upon appearance) and then is condemned for it within the books - censured as a shallow, vapid girl by the Lannisters or worse still, has her looks used against her when men come pawing. Similarly, Cersei doesn’t want to sleep with the Kettleblacks (not that there would be anything wrong if she had) but she does it, because she knows in their eyes - in society’s eyes - the only real power she can wield is of a sexual brand. And when she does, when she gives in to what she’s been told all her life, that her body is the only part of her that matters and so she better use it, society punishes her for the very thing they leave her with no other option to do. The slut-shaming is already in the fucking text. We as readers aren’t supposed to look at it and think, “Hey, that’s right, Sansa really does lead all these dudes on.” No, we’re not supposed to be that obtuse or that superficial in our reading, we’re supposed to look and go, “Hey, these women are being constantly screwed over by the social structures they live in and that’s a darn shame.” Why does that need to be spelled out for you, fandom? 

Sansa and Arya, Catelyn and Ned: Role Switching

how-much-farther-to-go:

In most respects we say that Arya is very like Ned: a skilled fighter, compassionate, loyal, “pack-minded”, and average-looking (or at least, not really called “ugly” except as a sexist insult). She is also very devoted to the old gods and calls herself a “wolf.”

And Sansa is like her mother: diplomatic, well-spoken, dutiful, thinks analytically and is considered very beautiful.

And I absolutely agree with that 100%. But when you go back and look at the text, the Stark sisters switch roles several times. It’s NOT a “Stark” vs. “Tully” sort of thing, it’s just the personality differences between Ned and Catelyn.

This is not a coincidence: Sansa was the closest witness to their father’s death, and will finish his work in the South by defeating Littlefinger and winning allies for her House.

  1. Like her father, Sansa now lives in the Vale, is being mentored there, and has befriended a Baratheon.
  2. After his death, her chapters in ACOK pick up where he left off in descriptions of the royal court. She compares them to “whining dogs”, howling for Joffrey’s approval.
  3. Before meeting Mya, Sansa used to live by a somewhat elitist-tinged southron version of her father’s beliefs about honor and chivalry, and refers to these things frequently, unlike Arya. Ex. In ASOS, she comments that Lothor Apple-Eater is “no true knight” based on his simple, rough clothing.

Arya was the closest witness to their mother’s death and now has all of the skills she needs to finish Cat’s work, and do what UnCat cannot: get justice for her family.

  1. Like her mother, she is now called “Cat” and lives by flowing bodies of water. Huh.
  2. Like her mother, Arya would rather pass up a chance for vengeance to save people she cares about. Ex. Gendry and Hot Pie instead of giving Tywin’s name to Joffrey.
  3. Like her mother, Arya believes in Justice: she judges by more universal concepts of good and bad, not rules of honor. Ex. “A girl has no honor.” (shrugs in response)
  4. EX. Arya thinks that Dareon a “foul heart” at first meeting, only later calls him a “deserter.” Ned’s mind, Dareon would be a bad person because he deserted. In Arya’s mind, it’s the other way around: Dareon deserted because he is a bad person. She decided to kill him on moral grounds, not exactly legal ones.

 On the surface, Arya’s story is about a girl who seeks “honorable” vengeance, when it’s actually about a girl who still believes in fair and good justice.

On the surface, Sansa’s story is about a girl who loses all her faith in honor and chivalry, when it is actually about a girl who still, deep down, believes that those things have a place in politics. A person with decency can still win in the end.

TL;DR how the Stark sisters take after their parents is much more complicated than “one is Ned, the other is Cat.”

how-much-farther-to-go:

I’ve been asked about the Stark siblings again, which means MORE INFO GRAPHICS, but unfortunately my write-up is kinda long.
First off, I’ll admit that there’s no way for us to really be certain about what will happen at the end, but this is the scenario that I’m betting on.
I’ve been asked the question recently by Joannalannister when I said that very likely, Bran will come back as to be King in the North (Bran the Builder 2.0), I was asked, “But how do you step down from being a god to *just a king*? If the politics are a red herring, why get your god involved in politics?”
That’s a good question. I should probably explain what I think the future holds for the North.
I have two reasons for why I am so certain that Bran will return to Winterfell as King with his sisters.
1.  Their stories are three parts of a complete whole. Three wolves=one pack.
2. Northern kingship is based in magic, not politics.
Think about the sort of place the North will be after the War is over. Think about how few people will be left alive after 10 years of winter and war. It will be very primitive, wild, and magic will rampant, just as it was in the time of the first Bran the Builder. To be a king in this kind of place, you need the primordial magic of the Greenseers. The sorts of skills Sansa will be useful but won’t be enough to rule such a savage place. If Sansa and Arya know that Bran is alive, they will back his claim.
The issue really hangs on whether Bran will be bound to a tree like Bloodraven is in the next few years. When you go back and look at Bran’s chapters in ADWD, there’s actually nothing and no one saying he will do that. None of the Singers ever suggest that he will be stay in the Cave forever or that he will be bound to the tree very soon. That idea was really born out of the generally creepiness of the Cave, and it is a really creepy place.
In contrast, there’s simply too many parallels to the Builder to ignore. The things Bran wants: knighthood, warrior’s glory, etc.. never happen. But he always gets what he doesn’t want: he was afraid to be Lord of Winterfell, he was afraid of the weirwood trees, and he was very afraid when the Reeds told him that he is warg and greenseer. And he never liked the story of Bran the Builder. Why give such a monumentally important title and place to a non-POV character (Rickon)?
I want Bran to return as king because of the balance it brings to their tri-narrative.
TL;DR Their stories began together in Winterfell and they must end together in Winterfell.
P.S. you can see my other meta on the Stark siblings narrative unity here

how-much-farther-to-go:

I’ve been asked about the Stark siblings again, which means MORE INFO GRAPHICS, but unfortunately my write-up is kinda long.

First off, I’ll admit that there’s no way for us to really be certain about what will happen at the end, but this is the scenario that I’m betting on.

I’ve been asked the question recently by Joannalannister when I said that very likely, Bran will come back as to be King in the North (Bran the Builder 2.0), I was asked, “But how do you step down from being a god to *just a king*? If the politics are a red herring, why get your god involved in politics?”

That’s a good question. I should probably explain what I think the future holds for the North.

I have two reasons for why I am so certain that Bran will return to Winterfell as King with his sisters.

1.  Their stories are three parts of a complete whole. Three wolves=one pack.

2. Northern kingship is based in magic, not politics.

Think about the sort of place the North will be after the War is over. Think about how few people will be left alive after 10 years of winter and war. It will be very primitive, wild, and magic will rampant, just as it was in the time of the first Bran the Builder. To be a king in this kind of place, you need the primordial magic of the Greenseers. The sorts of skills Sansa will be useful but won’t be enough to rule such a savage place. If Sansa and Arya know that Bran is alive, they will back his claim.

The issue really hangs on whether Bran will be bound to a tree like Bloodraven is in the next few years. When you go back and look at Bran’s chapters in ADWD, there’s actually nothing and no one saying he will do that. None of the Singers ever suggest that he will be stay in the Cave forever or that he will be bound to the tree very soon. That idea was really born out of the generally creepiness of the Cave, and it is a really creepy place.

In contrast, there’s simply too many parallels to the Builder to ignore. The things Bran wants: knighthood, warrior’s glory, etc.. never happen. But he always gets what he doesn’t want: he was afraid to be Lord of Winterfell, he was afraid of the weirwood trees, and he was very afraid when the Reeds told him that he is warg and greenseer. And he never liked the story of Bran the Builder. Why give such a monumentally important title and place to a non-POV character (Rickon)?

I want Bran to return as king because of the balance it brings to their tri-narrative.

TL;DR Their stories began together in Winterfell and they must end together in Winterfell.

P.S. you can see my other meta on the Stark siblings narrative unity here

245 notes   •   VIA: bennetand9   •   SOURCE: bennetand9

Why Sansa is Important

bennetand9:

I actually find Sansa Stark to be a very interesting character because she shows how dangerous the patriarchy can actually be to women. I believe that Sansa is George RR Martin’s answer to the question of what happens to women who don’t fight against the social structure. 

Game of Thrones is full of women who disregard traditional feminine roles (Brienne, Sansa’s sister Arya and Dany are the most notable) as well as women who seems to fit those roles on the surface, yet disrupt the patriarchal culture behind the scenes (Catelyn Stark, Cersei Lannister, Lysa Arryn etc).

Then there is Sansa, who completely bought into the idea of women as meek, feminine creatures who were supposed to be protected by strong powerful knights. Many GoT fans forget how young Sansa was at the beginning of the book series (twelve). Throughout the first book and first season of the TV show, Sansa comes off as a naive and somewhat bratty girl, which are traits that are not uncommon for pre-pubescent girls.

Sansa’s entire reality is wrapped up in her belief of how the world should be, at the tender age of twelve years she has not the wisdom or worldliness to understand the reality of King’s Landing. Fans often compare Sansa to her sister Arya, who by all accounts is a complete badass. I think that this comparison is unfair to Sansa, throughout the books Arya’s strong personality and willful disposition are extremely clear. Even Catelyn Stark admits that Arya was incapable of taming even when she was a child. 

Sansa on the other hand seems to be a natural people pleaser and much less strong willed than Arya. I believe this comes down to a difference in personality rather than a difference in moral character. Anyone who has worked with children will know that each child is born with their own disposition and often times siblings can have very different personalities. 

Sansa wanted to please, thus she easily fell into the role of the perfect little lady of Wintefell. Arya was Arya and because of who she was, found it difficult to fill this role because of her personality.

Thus, I think it is unfair to judge Sansa because as a child she fell into the role that was expected of her. Most children who want to please those around them will act the way they are told.

This is why Sansa’s character is so important. Sansa is the epitome of a woman who bought into her social role wholeheartedly. As a twelve year old girl, she had not yet encountered enough of the world to question this. 

However, we see the reversal in Sansa after her father’s execution. Sansa’s last chapter in GoT is probably one of the saddest in the series because it is when she realizes that everything she believed in is essentially a lie. This is captured in the famous “there are no heroes” line.

By the time Sansa questioned the social structure, she was already a hostage and a punching bag for Joffrey. That is the tragedy of Sansa, just when she realizes the world is a far different place from what she thought, she is powerless to stop it and is subjected to the harsh realities of a male dominated world.

Sansa is a cautionary tale about why the patriarchy is so dangerous and why young girls must be taught how dangerous it is. Because of this, I’ve always found Sansa’s story lines interesting.

Permalink   •   Tags: #sansa stark #feminism

Loras and Perceptual Bias

renlyslittlerose:

 Finn’s comment about the perception of Loras through Sansa’s eyes is giving me fucking life and I really just want to talk about how fucking spot on he is about that. GRRM has continually said that one should be wary of how we view a character that has no POV, as there is always going to be biases present within the text. Where one character might see someone as bold and arrogant, another might see them as gentle and kind. It’s all about perception, and GRRM was warned us to keep these things in mind while we read. This is the case with Loras, particularly with regards to Sansa and Cersei.

 Sansa projects her fantasies of the fairytale knight upon Loras. She first sees him when he’s playing the role of the ideal knight— wearing glittering, expensive armour, perfectly styled, handing out roses to beautiful girls, and winning his joust before going on to win the tournament. She sees Loras, and she sees what she expected she would see when she came to King’s Landing. She automatically makes Loras into this perfect persona, and continues to see him as such even as events unfold and he proves to be anything but the perfect, chaste, gentle knight she desperately wants him to be. Finn uses the word ‘fangirl’ to describe her vision of him, and I don’t think that is very far off. Knights of Loras’ calibre were like the celebrities of their time, and people back then, as they do now, saw them through a skewed lens. They are a fantasy— they fill a role in the viewer’s mind, and anything that is contrary to that view is either ignored or excused.

 Such is the same with Loras and Sansa. Loras cheats to win at his tournament, using a mare in heat against the mountain that rides. Still, Sansa sees him as this glorious, blameless knight. Later on, he forgets who she is, and yet she still desperately clings to the rose that he had given her. Even after growing short with her and acting rude, she fantasies about what it would be like to marry him and have sex with him. It is not until much later, when at the Eyrie, she recognizes that Loras is probably not the man she thought he was, and that he was not going to rescue her. There is no such thing as a ‘true’ knight like the ones she had read about in books.

 And I think that is the point of Loras. GRRM loves to write tropes and then completely switch them around. Loras, to Sansa, represents the perfect knight. We see him as a teenage girl would see someone she admires; blameless, sweet, gentle, heterosexual, and chivalrous. But Loras is anything but. He kills two innocent men; he is brash and arrogant at times; he is vain; he is in love with another man; he is short and terse with others, and deeply critical (as is the case with Brienne). He has a narrow focus, seeing only his family and his own ambitions.

 On the flip side we have Loras in the eyes of Cersei. Overly critical and mistrusting of the Tyrells, Cersei views Loras accordingly. He is to be mistrusted because of his sexuality; he is trying to steal her son away; he is arrogant and stupid; he needs to be taught a lesson. He needs to be gotten rid of, essentially. Cersei has nothing flattering to say about Loras, just as Sansa is far too flattering.

 I think the best view we have of Loras comes from Catelyn and Jaime. While Catelyn has her biases, there seems to be no malice behind her negative view of Loras, unlike Cersei. She sees a man enamoured with the idea of glory. A man completely devoted and blinded by his devotion. A man who thinks very little before reacting. A man who thinks more with his heart than with his head. He is a summer child in her eyes— naive and rambunctious, eager to prove himself and make a name for himself beyond his tournament glory. She sees him as a young knight not yet come into his own. We then have Jaime, the only person Loras has ever opened up to. Jaime sees himself in Loras. Both brash, young, arrogant and full of ‘empty chivalry’. While perhaps Jaime projects a little too much of his disenchanted world view upon Loras, it would appear as if he is not far off. Loras speaks of his grief for Renly; he describes the ease at which he killed two men, and then later struggles with the knowledge that they were most likely innocent; he tells Jaime where he buried Renly, and that his loyalties would always lie with a dead man. He also reveals he has a bit of a dirty mind, having enjoyed flipping through Renly’s book of sex.

 The preconceptions, desires, and life experiences of different characters are always important to keep in consideration when reading about another character. Loras is no different. Sansa glorifies him and projects her wishes for a true, beautiful knight upon him, while Cersei demonizes him because he is a Tyrell. Jaime sees himself in Loras, but perhaps projects too much upon the young man, while Catelyn cannot help but hold him up to the high standards at which she views her son.

 We do not know who the real Loras is, and we may never really get to learn who he is behind closed doors. One thing is for certain, however. GRRM does not write tropes, and Loras is no exception.

nobodysuspectsthebutterfly:

Balon Swann was appointed to the Kingsguard after Preston Greenfield was killed in the Riot of King’s Landing. At that point Tyrion, as acting Hand, had already put Joffrey in his place regarding what he was doing to their hostage. And I don’t believe Sansa’s POV mentions any beatings after Tyrion interrupts the one where she was stripped, although Joffrey does continue to threaten her with the Kingsguard.
So no, I don’t think Balon Swann ever hit Sansa. Nor did Osmund Kettleblack (appointed when Boros Blount was temporarily dismissed for cowardice before the Battle of the Blackwater), nor for that matter did Loras Tyrell (appointed when Tywin was Hand and had Joffrey under even better control).
However, of Joffrey’s Kingsguard before Tyrion stepped in, we know that Meryn Trant, Boros Blount, Mandon Moore, Preston Greenfield, and Arys Oakheart did beat Sansa. (Arys’s POV in AFFC notes how he hated it, but had to do it because it was the king’s command; and that he thanked the gods when he was sent to Dorne with Myrcella. I’m not sure exactly what that says about Arys, but it says a hell of a lot about the culture of the Kingsguard.) Anyway, that’s 5 out of 7 — and yes, the two who did not do so were Sandor Clegane and the then-captive Jaime Lannister.
Note Joffrey does command Sandor only once (that last incident) but there’s an interruption before we can see whether he would have refused — but considering he makes a small effort to stop the beating later in that scene (and deeply regrets letting it happen at all), we can make a few guesses. Also note, Jaime’s opinion on the matter (once he got back and took command of the KG) is particularly telling, and IMO obviously related to his own situation with Aerys and Rhaella.
Relevant quotes:

Ser Boros was short-tempered, Ser Meryn cold, and Ser Mandon’s strange dead eyes made her uneasy, while Ser Preston treated her like a lackwit child. Arys Oakheart was courteous, and would talk to her cordially. Once he even objected when Joffrey commanded him to hit her. He did hit her in the end, but not hard as Ser Meryn or Ser Boros might have, and at least he had argued. The others obeyed without question… except for the Hound, but Joff never asked the Hound to punish her. He used the other five for that.— ACOK, Sansa I
“Be quiet, or I’ll have Ser Meryn give you a mortal wound,” Joffrey told his betrothed.— ACOK, Tyrion IX (just prior to the riot)
“Ser Meryn.” Jaime smiled at the sour knight with the rust-red hair and the pouches under his eyes. “I have heard it said that Joffrey made use of you to chastise Sansa Stark.” He turned the White Book around one-handed. “Here, show me where it is in our vows that we swear to beat women and children.”“I did as His Grace commanded me. We are sworn to obey.”“Henceforth you will temper that obedience. My sister is Queen Regent. My father is the King’s Hand. I am Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Obey us. None other.”Ser Meryn got a stubborn look on his face. “Are you telling us not to obey the king?”“The king is eight. Our first duty is to protect him, which includes protecting him from himself. Use that ugly thing you keep inside your helm. If Tommen wants you to saddle his horse, obey him. If he tells you to kill his horse, come to me.”— ASOS, Jaime VIII
It still shamed Ser Arys to remember all the times he’d struck that poor Stark girl at the boy’s command. When Tyrion had chosen him to go with Myrcella to Dorne, he lit a candle to the Warrior in thanks.— AFFC, The Soiled Knight

nobodysuspectsthebutterfly:

Balon Swann was appointed to the Kingsguard after Preston Greenfield was killed in the Riot of King’s Landing. At that point Tyrion, as acting Hand, had already put Joffrey in his place regarding what he was doing to their hostage. And I don’t believe Sansa’s POV mentions any beatings after Tyrion interrupts the one where she was stripped, although Joffrey does continue to threaten her with the Kingsguard.

So no, I don’t think Balon Swann ever hit Sansa. Nor did Osmund Kettleblack (appointed when Boros Blount was temporarily dismissed for cowardice before the Battle of the Blackwater), nor for that matter did Loras Tyrell (appointed when Tywin was Hand and had Joffrey under even better control).

However, of Joffrey’s Kingsguard before Tyrion stepped in, we know that Meryn Trant, Boros Blount, Mandon Moore, Preston Greenfield, and Arys Oakheart did beat Sansa. (Arys’s POV in AFFC notes how he hated it, but had to do it because it was the king’s command; and that he thanked the gods when he was sent to Dorne with Myrcella. I’m not sure exactly what that says about Arys, but it says a hell of a lot about the culture of the Kingsguard.) Anyway, that’s 5 out of 7 — and yes, the two who did not do so were Sandor Clegane and the then-captive Jaime Lannister.

Note Joffrey does command Sandor only once (that last incident) but there’s an interruption before we can see whether he would have refused — but considering he makes a small effort to stop the beating later in that scene (and deeply regrets letting it happen at all), we can make a few guesses. Also note, Jaime’s opinion on the matter (once he got back and took command of the KG) is particularly telling, and IMO obviously related to his own situation with Aerys and Rhaella.

Relevant quotes:

Ser Boros was short-tempered, Ser Meryn cold, and Ser Mandon’s strange dead eyes made her uneasy, while Ser Preston treated her like a lackwit child. Arys Oakheart was courteous, and would talk to her cordially. Once he even objected when Joffrey commanded him to hit her. He did hit her in the end, but not hard as Ser Meryn or Ser Boros might have, and at least he had argued. The others obeyed without question… except for the Hound, but Joff never asked the Hound to punish her. He used the other five for that.
— ACOK, Sansa I

“Be quiet, or I’ll have Ser Meryn give you a mortal wound,” Joffrey told his betrothed.
— ACOK, Tyrion IX (just prior to the riot)

“Ser Meryn.” Jaime smiled at the sour knight with the rust-red hair and the pouches under his eyes. “I have heard it said that Joffrey made use of you to chastise Sansa Stark.” He turned the White Book around one-handed. “Here, show me where it is in our vows that we swear to beat women and children.”
“I did as His Grace commanded me. We are sworn to obey.”
“Henceforth you will temper that obedience. My sister is Queen Regent. My father is the King’s Hand. I am Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Obey us. None other.”
Ser Meryn got a stubborn look on his face. “Are you telling us not to obey the king?”
“The king is eight. Our first duty is to protect him, which includes protecting him from himself. Use that ugly thing you keep inside your helm. If Tommen wants you to saddle his horse, obey him. If he tells you to kill his horse, come to me.”
— ASOS, Jaime VIII

It still shamed Ser Arys to remember all the times he’d struck that poor Stark girl at the boy’s command. When Tyrion had chosen him to go with Myrcella to Dorne, he lit a candle to the Warrior in thanks.
— AFFC, The Soiled Knight