Hi butterfly! When first reading the books past BoBW I was surprised by how much Sansa thought about the Hound, and I don't know if this is me forgetting details already because ADWD is harder for me to get into, but I thought she thought of him less and less as she embraced Alayne more? Do you think this adopted persona might affect her view of him, as I imagine she'd react differently if they meet now? Do you think maybe he'll be less "involved" in her future growth than say LF?
Sansa actually thinks of Sandor more frequently and more romantically as Alayne than she does in some of her previous chapters.
When the mob sought to rape her, the Hound carried her to safety, not Littlefinger. –AFFC, Sansa I
The Lord of Runestone stood as tall as the Hound. –AFFC, Alayne I
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, Alayne II
“You do know what goes on in a marriage bed, I hope?”
She thought of Tyrion, and of the Hound and how he’d kissed her, and gave a nod.
–AFFC, Alayne II
(the last two quotes are particularly interesting because when Sansa thinks of kisses and sex, Littlefinger (who’s been grooming her) doesn’t even cross her mind.)
Now, mind you, she doesn’t think of Sandor at all in the TWOW Alayne I preview chapter, but Lothor Brune plays a very similar role, and we’ll see how things go in TWOW Alayne II. (Or Sansa I, depending on how GRRM does it.)
If they meet again, certainly Sansa should react differently to Sandor from the last time she saw him – time has passed (it’ll be two years or more), she’s older with more maturity and life experience, and she’s romanticized their encounters. Her Alayne persona could also make things different – if she’s still Alayne when they meet, of course – as Alayne is “bastard brave” and bolder and flirtier and a lot of things that Sansa actually is but had been too socially-cultured to allow herself to be. (Or too traumatized and oppressed to be, when she was a Lannister captive.) Even if Sansa is no longer Alayne, I can imagine her reaching for that persona for difficult social events (“what would Alayne do”, say), and meeting Sandor again would very definitely be one of them.
(There’s 15 tons of fanfic on this subject, so you’ll excuse me for not going into detail here. Besides, GRRM will write it however he writes it, so I don’t need to detail, broad strokes are enough.)
Littlefinger will likely be “involved in Sansa’s future growth” until he dies. I’d like to hope that’ll be in TWOW, but I know with GRRM it probably won’t be until ADOS, alas. But by definition Sandor cannot be involved in “Sansa’s future growth” except in his presence in her memories (or whatever she may hear about him), unless they meet again, which could be in TWOW if we’re lucky, but again probably won’t be until ADOS because GRRM.
But does it matter? I mean, it matters, because of truth and lies and Sandor and Petyr and Ned, but Littlefinger being involved in Sansa’s future growth doesn’t preclude Sandor from eventually being so. (It also doesn’t preclude Sansa from eventually rejecting Littlefinger’s influence on her.) Also, what’s most important for Sansa’s character in terms of Sandor is how he was involved in her past growth, and the lessons she took from that and always be part of her; not to mention the personal growth she had on her own, separated from him. If that eventually leads to something in a future encounter, then I’d be pleased, but I’d also be pleased if Sansa is just an amazing person all by herself. Which I’m sure she will be, no matter what.