I’m half way through A Clash of Kings but I keep on thinking about Sansa in her final chapter in A Game of Thrones. Even knowing that the worst for her is yet to come, I find those pages so horribly sad to read. There’s this one part that is really of little consequence compared to what’s going to happen to her but it stands out to me.
“You truly are a stupid girl, aren’t you? My mother says so.” “She does?” After all that had happened, his words should have lost their power to hurt her, yet somehow they had not. The queen had always been so kind to her.
Even after seeing her father killed, even after being beaten, betrayed & imprisoned, she still feels a stab of hurt & shame over something that should have long stopped affecting her. She loved & admired these people and knowing that all along they thought so little of her stings. She’s a little girl in this moment & the following line is heartbreaking:
“Sansa could not look at him, he shamed her so.”
And the most awful, depressing bit comes a page or two later, when Joffery has Ser Meryn strike her again- twice- as the Hound watches, so hard that she begins to bleed. He scowls & tells her, “You shouldn’t be crying all the time. You’re more pretty when you smile and laugh.”
And poor, poor Sansa with her lip split, terrified he’ll have her beaten again, makes herself smile through the blood for him, all the while her father’s head rots behind her.
It’s the most achingly sad visual & only the beginning of Sansa’s torment.
What she means: House Tyrell is the second most powerful house in all of Westeros, from the amount of gold they have, to their massive armies which are easily supported by their gold. They still have a number of powerful members of their family even with Margaery and Loras dead. In addition to that they have spies, bards, etc, all over the seven kingdoms just like everyone else. Casterly Rock is incredibly far away from High Garden and there’s no way in hell that pretty much the entire Lannister army would march all the way to the Tyrell’s capital in High Garden with literally nobody noticing; and even if they got there the Tyrell’s army isn’t exactly non-existant. To fight them the Lannister’s would’ve easily sacrificed such a large amount of their forces making their chances against Daenerys almost negligible, all the while making Kings Landing and other Lannister controlled territory so incredibly weak that Daenerys could’ve waltzed into Kings Landing without shedding a single civilian blood drop. On top of that Olenna is one of the most incredibly intelligent and powerful characters on the entire show and wouldn’t have been eliminated from this unrealistic attack, and she also has more than a single castle she could’ve retreated to. Also Euron’s fleet just appeared out of nowhere with zero warning as well? Just like in the fight with the sand snakes? Where he defeated three of the show’s most powerful women at once? All of this has but one explanation: Sloppy storytelling