Battle of Blackwater

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The Battle of the Blackwater (Show Version)
So, while they could’ve done a lot differently, I’d just like to point out this beautiful little quote because it makes so much sense. Out of all the places he could’ve chosen to go, Sandor decides that he wants to go North. That means that while everything was burning and he was terrified and ready to give up his entire life, he was thinking about Sansa and taking her home.
Then he says, “might be,” and looks at her and goes, “could be.” He could go North if she wanted to come with him. Meaning the whole time he was thinking about where to go and leaving the city, he was hoping that Sansa Stark would leave with him.

“Help him,” Sansa commanded two of the serving men. One just looked at her and ran, flagon and all. Other servants were leaving the hall as well, but she could not help that. Together, Sansa and the serving man got the wounded knight back on his feet. “Take him to Maester Frenken.” Lancel was one of them, yet somehow she still could not bring herself to wish him dead. I am soft and weak and stupid, just as Joffrey says. I should be killing him, not helping him.
—  – Sansa Stark, A Clash of Kings
Oh btw Sandor totally romanticizes the BoBW too

“And she sang for me. You didn’t know that, did you? Your sister sang me a sweet little song.” - ASoS, Arya IX

“You ought to thank me. You ought to sing me a pretty little song, the way your sister did.” - ASoS, Arya XII

Geez, and people say Sansa is in denial?? heehee. For someone so invested in truth and honesty, and for someone who looooves to brag about all his misdeeds, it sure is interesting how thoroughly HE “rewrites” the BoBW encounter too, isn’t it? In fact, he’s retconned it to the point where he is completely re-chronologizing the song, insinuating that it happened after the riots and not during the BoBW at all!!

Now, even though we don’t have the benefit of a Sandor POV, we can safely assume that he’s probably not quite as committed to his own “illusion” as Sansa is; this is certainly evident when he finally confesses the truth to Arya as he’s dying, but it also seems to rear its head earlier:

“I should have let you run into that bloody castle.”

“You should have,” she agreed, thinking of her mother.

“You’d be dead if I had. You ought to thank me. You ought to sing me a pretty little song, the way your sister did.”

"Did you hit her with an axe too?”

"I hit you with the flat of the axe, you stupid little bitch. If I’d hit you with the blade there’d still be chunks of your head floating down the Green Fork. Now shut your bloody mouth. If I had any sense I’d give you to the silent sisters. They cut the tongues out of girls who talk too much.”

That wasn’t fair for him to say. Aside from that one time, Arya hardly talked at all.

Mmmmm hit a nerve there, Sandor?? There he goes, once again perpetuating his own version of the “unkiss”, and then Arya comes along to shatter his precious illusion. (You can practically hear the “record scratch” when Arya makes that axe comment, LOL.) The mere suggestion that he would hurt Sansa is utterly offensive to him. And yet…. he DID do a bad thing. And as bad as it was, I am sure it is 100 times worse in his own head (and probably a thousand times worse than it is in Sansa’s head), and here’s Arya to go and so rudely remind him of it. He knows what he did, and yet even he feels the need to rewrite it, in an obvious attempt to ease his own guilt.  

So, just like I previous asked with Sansa, I ask with Sandor – WHY would he feel the need to delude himself in this way, specifically where Sansa is concerned? Hmmmm could it beeeeee because he cares about her??? No, don’t try to tell me he said it so he could earn Arya’s trust. He already took care of that when he told Arya that he never beat Sansa and that he saved her from the riots, which is TRUE. But then he went and added that superfluous little tidbit about Sansa singing for him like he was one of the heroes in her songs that he detests so much (oh the irony!). 

Bottom line is, he IS a jaded romantic. He DOES want to be like one of those knights, and he most definitely wants to be one for Sansa. But he’s too bitter and full of self-hate to believe this could ever happen in a million years, so then what does he do? He tries to make OTHER knights look bad in Sansa’s eyes so that they appear just as awful as (or even worse than) he is. But it’s still all just a big delusion. Both Sansa and Sandor have utterly skewed perceptions of the world, and they try to impose that upon the other, with rather clashy results, LOL. But they wouldn’t even try in the first place if they did not feel some significant draw to each other. But at the end of the day, deep down, they both want the same thing – they want the “song” to be true.

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“Since the night of the battle. Lord Tywin saved us all. The smallfolk say it was King Renly’s ghost, but wiser men know better. It was your father and Lord Tyrell, with the Knight of Flowers and Lord Littlefinger. They rode through the ashes and took the usurper Stannis in the rear. It was a great victory, and now Lord Tywin has settled into the Tower of the Hand to help His Grace set the realm to rights, gods be praised.”

“Gods be praised,” Tyrion repeated hollowly. His bloody father and bloody Littlefinger and Renly’s ghost

- George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings