Is it possible the Tyrells weren't involved in the Purple Wedding? The only remotely incriminating thing we see them do is the QoT mussing Sansa's hairnet. Everything else we hear about their involvement comes from Littlefinger, in a scene where he's trying to manipulate Sansa into thinking she can only rely on him. There were servants waiting on the high table and any of them could have been Littlefinger's catspaw.
For one, I think it a great oversimplification to say that “the only remotely incriminating thing we see them do is the QoT mussing Sansa’s hairnet”. That analysis misses entirely the crucial conversation among Sansa, Margaery, and Olenna that closes “Sansa I” of ASOS. Margaery specifically invites Sansa to visit with her and her ladies, but the real purpose of the visit is Sansa’s interrogation on Joffrey’s character:
“Joffrey,” she said. “Joffrey did that. He promised me he would be merciful, and cut my father’s head off. He said that was mercy, and he took me up on the walls and made me look at it. The head. He wanted me to weep, but …”
“Go on,” Margaery urged. Joffrey’s own queen-to-be.
“A monster,” she whispered, so tremulously she could scarcely hear her own voice. “Joffrey is a monster. He lied about the butcher’s boy and made Father kill my wolf. When I displease him, he has the Kingsguard beat me. He’s evil and cruel, my lady, it’s so. And the queen as well.”
Lady Olenna Tyrell and her granddaughter exchanged a look. “Ah,” said the old woman,“that’s a pity.”
Olenna and Margaery have just confirmed the rumors they likely already knew about Joffrey (after all, Littlefinger tells Sansa that he spread those very rumors in the Tyrell camp even as he praised the boy to the Tyrells proper). Why would they even feel the need to play good-cop-bad-cop to get Sansa to reveal Joffrey’s true nature, and then do nothing with the information? If Joffrey is truly as cruel and dangerous as Sansa relates - and the Tyrells have no reason to doubt this - would they really leave their precious pawn Margaery in his hands, without any sort of plan to lessen the danger to her?
Lest the reader not understand that the Tyrells are plotting something vis-a-vis Joffrey, the author underlines just how little sense the ostensible plan of marrying Margaery to Joffrey makes to Sansa:
“Margaery, please,” she said, “you mustn’t.” It was hard to get the words out. “You mustn’t marry him. He’s not like he seems, he’s not. He’ll hurt you.”
“I shouldn’t think so.” Margaery smiled confidently. “It’s brave of you to warn me, but you need not fear. Joff’s spoiled and vain and I don’t doubt he’s as cruel as you say, but Father forced him to name Loras to the Kingsguard before he would agree to the match. I shall have the finest knight in the Seven Kingdoms protecting me night and day, as Prince Aemon protected Naerys. So our little lion had best behave, hadn’t he?”
[A]nd yet, her doubts still gnawed at her. Ser Loras was a great knight, all agreed. But Joffrey had other Kingsguard, and gold cloaks and red cloaks besides, and when he was older he would command armies of his own. Aegon the Unworthy had never harmed Queen Naerys, perhaps for fear of their brother the Dragonknight … but when another of his Kingsguard fell in love with one of his mistresses, the king had taken both their heads.
Ser Loras is a Tyrell, Sansa reminded herself. That other knight was only a Toyne. His brothers had no armies, no way to avenge him but with swords. Yet the more she thought about it all, the more she wondered. Joff might restrain himself for a few turns, perhaps as long as a year, but soon or late he will show his claws, and when he does … The realm might have a second Kingslayer, and there would be war inside the city, as the men of the lion and the men of the rose made the gutters run red.
Sansa was surprised Margaery did not see it too.
Sansa is not stupid; neither is Margaery, nor Olenna. Sansa comes to the same conclusion Littlefinger boasts to her later - that Joffrey’s sadism would drive Loras and the Tyrell faction to all-out war against the Lannister faction - but without Baelish’s aid. That speaks less to Littlefinger’s making up a story post hoc and more analysis of, well, what is actually happening: Sansa has seen Margaery’s improbable confidence in the face of her warnings, knows her history, and concludes that the Tyrells must be “wiser” (which, indeed, is true, in the sense that the Tyrells know something - the murder plot - that she does not).
Second, if this was all Littlefinger’s plot with a “servant waiting on the high table”, then why involve the “magic” hair net at all? Because, in order to believe it was a servant, we either have to conclude that the amethysts in the hair net were not poison at all and this unnamed servant had the poison on his or her person, or that this servant got a stone of the strangler out of Sansa’s hair net without her noticing AND that, coincidentally, Lady Olenna fussed with the hair net but didn’t dislodge any of the stones. The latter explanation makes no sense, and the former is narratively impotent. Why have Dontos emphasize that the hair net was “justice” and “vengeance” and “home” (in the very same book that the strangler is introduced, whose form matches the amethysts), and why have him later insist that Sansa wear the hair net to the wedding, if it ended up the case that the hair net wasn’t involved in the poisoning at all? Why also would the Ghost of High Heart say she dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents dripping venom from her hair, if there was no posion in it? Just as well, it seems awfully convenient for Littlefinger that Olenna just happened to fiddle with Sansa’s hair and that one of those stones was missing, thus leading her, Sansa, to conclude that the stone must have been poison. How would he know to seize on that, if he had actually entrusted the poison to a servant (and he himself was not actually at the wedding)?
Third, in terms of Littlefinger trying to manipulate Sansa into relying on him, he does the same thing in the Vale:
“Especially when we are alone. Elsewise a day will come when a servant walks into a room unannounced, or a guardsman at the door chances to hear something he should not. Do you want more blood on your pretty little hands, my darling?”
Finally, as always: what would be the narrative purpose of Littlefinger lying to Sansa about this? The author already has Littlefinger hiding a key truth from Sansa - the fact that he orchestrated her father’s murder (as well as his torture of her old friend Jeyne Poole). Littlefinger also lying about the Tyrells’ involvement doesn’t tell the reader anything new about his character (he’s a liar, sure, but we already knew that; he’s a manipulator, sure, but we already knew that), and doesn’t have nearly the personal impact on Sansa as does his withholding the truth about Ned’s death. The final turn of Sansa away from Littlefinger has to pack an emotional punch, and does revealing that the Tyrells actually weren’t involved in the Purple Wedding do that? I don’t think so.
-jon kissing sansa’s forehead
-arya killing that nasty 100yo craven
-sansa rejecting baelish
-tyrian and dany friendship 2.0
-lady mormont telling off all the northern kings
-high sparrow dead
-jaime looked pretty pissed at cersei so maybe they’ll finally break up and jaime will get with brienne pls
Sansa Stark, the snowcastle scene, and why it matters
The snow drifted down and
down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the
ground. All color had fled the world outside. It was a place of
whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white
statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A
pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here.
Snow—the first snow
since Sansa has left Winterfell. And it has almost magical powers: It
transforms Sansa. More than anything else has transformed her over
the course of the book series.
How GRRM describes the
scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. From the moment Sansa first
discovers it’s snowing outside, her thoughts and memories of
Winterfell and her siblings, her preparations, what clothes she puts
on, to the world that awaits her—it’s just beautiful. It’s pure.
And Sansa, ever the lady, sees this at once. And yet…
…she stepped out all
the same Her boots tore ankle-deep holes into the smooth white
surface of the snow.
Whoa, one sentence later
everything changed. Sansa intrudes, and it’s apparent in the words
GRRM uses. She tearsholes into the snow. Sansa, for
lack of a better word, forces herself into the pure world. She leaves
holes behind that show she’s been here. She alters the scene and
leaves her mark on the world.
But she does not stop
there. Sansa doesn’t just destroy.
She builds. She kneels
down and starts building a castle—and not just any castle. She
builds Winterfell. The shy, little girl, who strived to be little
more than human decoration when she was a child, becomes proactive
now. She literally takes matters into her own hands and gets to work.
her gloves and her boots were crusty white, her hands were tingling,
and her feet were soaked and cold, but she did not care. The castle
was all that mattered.
building the snowcastle is not a little girl playing. It’s a woman
claiming agency, no matter the cost. She has a goal and lets nothing
stop her, not the cold, not the dampness of her clothes, not hunger,
skipping breakfast. No, Sansa has a castle to build. Some servants,
Lysa, and Maester Colemont watch her for a while, “but she paid
them no mind”. She is focused on her task, she is driven, and she
cares… so much that she curses aloud when her bridges keep falling
the entire series, Sansa has not cursed before or since. Every word
she says is well-chosen, ladylike, charming, courteous. This is the
exception. In this pure world, while building her castle, Sansa
forgets her manners, and lets her feelings dictate what she says.
this is how Petyr finds her. It’s clear to him that Sansa has begun
to change into a new woman—strong, determined, proactive.
I come into your castle, my lady?”
was wary. “Don’t break it. Be…”
He smiled. “Winterfell has withstood fiercer enemies than me. … I
used to dream of it, in those years after Cat went North with Eddard
politely asks for her permission to join her. He fully validates that
the snowcastle is more than just a castle made of snow. It’s Sansa’s
home, it’s important to her. And it is powerful enough to withstand
him. He downright admits that Winterfell has beaten him once
before—that Eddard beat him when he took Cat’s hand in marriage.
like Sansa when she curses, Petyr behaves very uncharacteristically
here: He admits defeat. More so, he brings it up. He voluntarily
shows himself vulnerable.
people building the snowcastle are not Lady Sansa and Littlefinger.
They are Sansa and Petyr, most themselves, her not hiding behind her
armor of courtesy, him not hiding behind his Littlefinger persona.
helps Sansa build her castle. He provides her with ideas and
suggestions, but he never usurps the process. It’s still her castle,
her cause. He just provides support, and only after she asks him for
his advice. He builds a latticework of twigs for her and then, again,
politely asks if he should make another one. And she says yes.
Throughout the process, Sansa admires his handiwork and his ideas and
is thankful for his help.
Broken Tower was easier still. They made a tall tower together,
kneeling side by side…
Petyr has gained Sansa’s trust after a while, and thus gets promoted
to co-builder instead of subcontractor: Now they work on the tower
when they had raised it Sansa stuck her fingers through the top,
grabbed a handful of snow, and flung it full in his face.
Sansa flings a handful
of snow in Petyr’s face. Is
there anything more carefree than this? Anything bolder, more
has changed so much over the course of this scene, and this is her
crescendo. She begins very Sansa-like—shy, afraid, reluctant. But
the snow, her memories of home, and most importantly, the success of
her own project—the snowcastle—embolden her. As soon as she takes
charge and finds something she truly cares about, she becomes
stronger and more proactive than she’s been in the entire book series
so far. Sansa grows more independent, and more secure, within
hours—so much that she dares fling a handful of snow in Petyr’s
face. Which, as Petyr immediately remarks, was “unchivalrously
done.” Go Sansa!
was bringing me here, when you swore to take me home.”
now she tells Petyr, to his face, that he lied, and that she doesn’t
like it. She criticizes him. This is bold.
Sansa Stark criticizes.
That in itself is rebellious. Sansa was raised to please, not to
speak her mind. Much less so to an older man.
In this patriarchal society, a society Sansa desperately wanted to
fit into when she was a child, she defies all convention and
criticizes a man. This is one of the most emancipated things Sansa
has done so far.
short: Sansa has grown up.
Petyr sees this—of course he does. Petyr, the most observant man in
the book series, notices how Sansa has changed and how fierce she has
become. He sees that she has agency now, independence, that she has
been transformed. And that
is what makes her so attractive in his eyes: That she is not
a child any more. And he kisses her…
Sansa still stands up for herself. She’s no longer the eager to
girl. She pushes him away and demands an explanation.
remember how Sansa was raised. How rebellious this is of her. The
fact that she pushes him away. That she then does not apologize for
it and instead refuses him. That she stands her ground and tells him
three more times to not kiss her:
wrenched free. “What are you doing?”
a snow maid.”
supposed to kiss her.
Your lady wife.”
Let me warm you, Sansa. Take off those gloves, give me your hands.”
won’t. You shouldn’t kiss me. I might have been your own daughter.”
is very persistent here. He wants to kiss her, and “explains” to
her all the “reasons” she should let him (what an asshole). But
Sansa remains firm. She does not budge. She does not want to kiss
him, and so she does not kiss him.
That’s… so incredibly strong. So brave. So rebellious. (I know I am
repeating myself but oh god I admire Sansa so much for her strength.)
has grown up. She stands up for herself now. And the following
chapters pay homage to this—there is not one dialogue where she is
not witty and clever, playfully bantering with some people,
courteously yet firmly standing her ground against others—includingPetyr.
is clear that Sansa, during her time in the Vale, is not “at
Petyr’s mercy” or “in no position to refuse him” or “a
helpless girl he can take advantage of”. She is a strong,
independent woman, very well capable of firmly refusing unwanted
Petyr is slimy. He obviously wants to kiss her and he makes this a
recurring theme in their interactions. But Sansa, just as craftily,
maneuvers her way around him. She knows exactly what she is doing.
She plays him. She’s biding her time, all the while learning
everything Littlefinger has to teach her.
waiting, ready to strike, for the right moment to destroy him…
then rebuild her castle out of the rubble—as she has done before,
in a place of whites and blacks and greys, in a pure world.
Exposition is a finely balanced art in storytelling, one which has to be treated with an overabundance of care. Of course, the audience for a story is not going to enter that world already knowing every crumb of expositional material. Not only would such a story be terribly boring, but it would also be devoid of any surprise or depth to characters’ motivations or views.
That said, exposition is so difficult for storytellers precisely because the audience knows it can be painfully unrealistic. No one in real life turns to his or her neighbor and presents an immediately apparent fact, or a fact the intended recipient would be expected to know (need I remind anyone of “I am Obara Sand, daughter of Oberyn Martell” - said to a man who has every reason to know who she is). Done incorrectly, then, exposition breaks the barrier between story and audience; we, the readers or watchers, get the sense that what is told on screen, on stage, or on the page is done only for our benefit. We’re reminded that we’re reading or watching a story, that none of this is really happening. So, if the audience cannot believe that a character in-universe would not know what is being told to him or her, or would not ask about the subject matter at hand, the exposition does not work.
All of the above is preface to discussion of one of my very favorite examples of exposition in ASOIAF: the end of “Alayne II”, A Feast for Crows. The author had a difficult task in front of him: explaining in greater detail Harry the Heir’s connection to House Arryn and his very high place in the succession to rulership of the Vale. Genealogical tables, while (obviously) fascinating to me, hardly make gripping story points, after all, and even the most talented writer would be hard-pressed to turn tracing lordly descent from a great-grandfather to the heir apparent an exciting experience. How boring it might have been to have Harry’s Arryn lineage revealed in some young Princess Victoria-esque way - a ponderous review of a written chart and subsequent declaration that Harry is “closer to the (weirwood) throne than I thought”.
So how did the author solve the problem? By constructing the narrative of Sansa’s Vale arc so that Littlefinger’s exposition at its end not only fulfills the promise of Harry Hardyng’s importance, but crowns Sansa’s developing political education as well. The manner in which Littlefinger explains who Harry the Heir is fits perfectly with his own character and develops the dynamic of political calculation established in “Alayne I”. In ensuring that the exposition which ends “Alayne II” springs naturally from the personality and development of these two characters, the author dispels the danger which writing exposition poses.
Lyanna Mormont’s Dismissal of Sansa Stark (Show Breaks Its Own Rules AGAIN)
Lyanna Mormont, in this scene:
dismisses Sansa Stark out of hand, despite her allegiance to House Stark. After consulting, she shoots back with, “You’re a Lannister, or a Bolton, I’ve heard conflicting reports.” Except that that’s not entirely how Westeros works, the women of Westeros still are deeply tied and those ties are valued, as children of their parents, in cases of nobility. Sansa takes this put down meekly, which is in direct contrast to her own mother. Catelyn had no issue calling upon her lord father’s bannermen to help take Tyrion hostage, nor did they dismiss her with some, “oh, you’re a Stark now….bugger off” nonsense. Her family and her relationship to her family was an intricate part of the entire plot, from leaving Winterfell to the Red Wedding (far more in the books.
But note how nobly the scene is handled in which Catelyn calls upon her father’s bannermen to arrest Tyrion Lannister in Season 2:
So, in the universe of the show, we already have the horrors that are breaking guest right broken again without much regard, kinslaying completely ignored (so far) in the case of Cersei blowing up at least two relatives in the Sept of Baelor, among other examples (show!Balon), but we also have Sansa’s newly acquired inability to invoke her ancestry as a Stark, as the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark (Lyanna Mormont is still loyal to him, as shown in even this scene, “the North remembers” has been woven in as well. So, why is no one horrified that Sansa was forced to marry these men, both of families that are enemies to Bear Island, for the sole purpose of using her name to gain control of Winterfell and the North with it? Why wouldn’t they rally to her cause?
Like so much else, that if just watching the show alone, you’d have to scratch your head over the constantly changing rules thrown at you. Catelyn was a Stark–but remained also the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and was respected as such. Sansa, meh. The North knows no King but the King in the North whose name is Stark! But this one Stark standing in front of you (forget about Jon’s status for now) who should be lauded for trying to help unite the North, or at least by the standards of the show should be USED for her name in order to do so, is no Stark. Because it was more awesome to introduce a badass little girl to “steal the episode” and rip a hole right through the overall universe.
Ugh, sorry, it just has bothered me since the scene aired. Much like Dany being thought of as a witch somehow changed….when she set fire to all of the Khals yet walked out unscathed to be worshiped by a people notoriously fearful and with animosity towards anything that can be construed as magic. But hey, she looked like a badass (trademark), right?
Tsk, tsk, Benioff & Weiss.
Edit: Thanks for adding on and weighing in to so many people, I didn’t expect something I wrote half asleep again would get such a response, please see added edit link at top for my rant on female characters as rewritten for television from ASOIAF. I just was pleased but also bothered by the Lyanna Mormont badass scene and wrote about it. I wish I could address everyone who added quotations on this, but I’m not that good with Tumblr. As for the showrunners’ views per their Inside the Episode, here it is:
For the notion that Sansa would be seen as a betrayer for staying in KL and having anything to do with the Lannisters, it’s broadly regarded on the show and in the books that the North remembers, Catelyn was treated severely for freeing Jaime Lannister to try and deal with the Lannisters to get Sansa back, but it was quite understood that she was doing it to save her captive daughter by those close to Robb, which included Maege Mormont. Who also knew that Ned Stark was beheaded at the Sept of Baelor by the Lannisters. As a member of a noble house, L. Mormont would’ve had full knowledge of all of this (having additional facts being whispered in her ear, even), due to better communications via raven of events and direct contact with remaining Starks (Maege) after Ned’s execution. Jeor Mormont got accurate information on the situation in KL, all the way at the Wall, which continued through that source, Maester Aemon (and Samwell), which led to Jon also knowing more than he otherwise might have.It’s known that this was done with Sansa present, and that she was held afterwards, and while “hostages” among rebellious houses are common (Theon with the Starks, which was only seen as negative by the Ironborn as he’d become less like them), with the North united under Robb as King in the North Sansa was known to be a captive and not cavorting around in KL for fun after they murdered her dad.
That Sansa was forced to keep condemning, in word only, her own Dad just to stay alive is hardly a point against her, the main Westerosi issue by this point against her (which I don’t think the Northerners involved in the Grand Northern Conspiracy believe but isn’t mentioned here much beyond Robb and Catelyn, book and show, realizing she was a hostage and the initial letters were Cersei’s words in Sansa’s writing) is that she is wanted for her supposed role in Joffrey’s murder. Considering Lyanna’s knowledge as well as animosity towards the Lannisters, in particular the one who had their liege lord executed, I’m unsure of how much blame would be placed on Sansa herself, nor how much is known in the North as to her comments to Lannisters that her father and brother are traitors, which was self defense on her part being considered to possibly have “traitor’s blood” as well as risking constant torture by Joffrey and Cersei. As in the books she’s in the Vale and other mentions (IIRC again) are disbelief that she had poisoned Joffrey or played any part (though she unwittingly was used there, yet again, as a pawn by Littlefinger and Lady Olenna). That would be the main question I’d expect to be asked at Bear Island, instead of dismissal for being forced into marriage. The Mormonts have more knowledge of, and devotion to, the Stark family and their information (book and show) would be more accurate than what many other houses or the smallfolk would get. I understand that Sansa’s having been put in an even worse position than Theon was by her father in terms of her honor would make her position less powerful than Catelyn’s, but the repeated emphasis as to her being “key to the North” is still a key point, as the North is an extremely large area that has and can operate separately from the rest of Westerosi Kingdoms. That Robb is hailed, “King in the North” all the way back in AGOT is rather telling of the North’s attitude there, his failure is not well regarded having led to the deaths of many in the North, but the fury due to the Red Wedding cast even more sympathy to what little remains of House Stark. Regardless, everyone has suffered from the War of 5 Kings and continues to.
That Catelyn’s little adventure with arresting Tyrion was not regarded as a good or smart move generally, this is well known, but as per the show, she wasn’t regarded as someone not worthy of the respect and fealty once she asked for aid in the name of her FATHER, not her husband or her Bran, and aside from the mountain clans, also had the Vale behind her in this. Her position in that Tyrion is a Lannister and she had no solid proof makes this, overall, less tenable than Sansa’s asking for help taking back her House’s own castle from the hated Boltons. The mere fact she’s there asking, free of Ramsay, is rather a more powerful position. The main change is that Westeros has now been torn apart by war and the long summer has ended, making everyone’s positions more precarious, another reason to (again, just by show rules–an example here would be breaking the idea that Sandor Clegane is at peace at the Quiet Isle perhaps detracts from where GRRM is going in the books with The Hound, but having him still disillusioned with being able to live at peace in a war torn world in the SHOW is still very consistent to how that character is being portrayed on the show).
The Bolton issue can’t be explained as much, as that is show only, but her escape from Ramsay is obvious and Ramsay’s reputation among those in the North isn’t exactly a good one. The stranger position in this mix would be the fact that Jon is there, asking for fighters to combat Ramsay, who still has Rickon captive at that point in the show (another Stark) when his vows (no one seems really aware that he was killed and resurrected, & many debate whether that would free him of his duties to the Watch, but as per the show it seems a-ok, despite desertion being considered a treasonous and immediate execution situation. I personally think he died, should be free by that loophole to leave & take part in the affairs of the Realm, but that’s what he is doing here, so it seems the Mormonts suddenly have either intimate knowledge of his execution & resurrection or don’t care, which would be odd considering Jeor’s position in the Watch. That’s mainly something I read others debating over, not a personal sticking point.
I was trying to stick heavily to the rules the show itself has laid out, which I expanded on with more my own op-ed on how women are written, but the original piece was entirely based on the universe presented to us, first by the books, then as rewritten for television. I included there some additional notes on the Dothraki and views on magic, show and books.
I’m hardly someone who counts themselves as an expert in the books either, but have done several rereads, and this is all just my opinion. I’m NOT an expert at all at Tumblr, so just trying to add my perspective in answer to @id-rather-be-in-disneyland, @no9-revolution, @arianassunflower, and @imheretodebateorami who made some very excellent points re: the entire piece, but also on blood magic and fire, though we don’t know much per the show except hints from the Dothraki who capture Dany that she is a possible witch, and the show hasn’t made as many about them re: fire, though I’d imagine a horse based culture would not be as fond of fire. Yet we know they use it as a tactic in war. I found recreating Dany’s emergence from the funeral pyre to be a bit cheap, personally. Very overtly obviously cheap, but wrote that up in the reblog. I just consider the show’s glossing over of some of this as bizarre as having Ellaria kill….the rest of Oberyn’s family as her revenge plot before joined by Varys and Olenna to be odd, which again is the show trying to cram all of Dorne in there, not being able to, doing a job of it that was so panned by critics that they tried to re-do it yet again with those more intricate touches that made the show so compelling in the earlier seasons. I covered my personal views on this in the reblog linked above. The same as I op-ed additioned Dany and her being so dramatically different from book to show.
I’m critiquing show inconsistency and what I consider shoddy, faster paced plot lines since seasons 3-4 in that sense here, the universes don’t necessarily line up to where they were when they were sticking more to the books. Most of my character critiques that bring in a modern worldview deal with aspects of trauma, and what I consider to be an excellent grasp on the effects of trauma as written by GRRM; I don’t consider it nonstop rape for women in arranged marriages in Westeros to not pick or even like their new spouses, as this is the world GRRM created, echoing much of the past that inspired him, a world in which that was the reality for especially noble women, even costing their lives in childbirth. Is that a world I find just or fair personally? No. Is it the world we’re discussing? Yeah. I do still like to read those critiques by writers here, as with most others. If someone tries to postulate that Theon is actually Azor Ahai, then I may want to disagree.
I agree, @imheretodebateorami for the most part, just went back into can’t shut up or be concise mode here (Qyburn messed with my metaphorical stump here, and I was again given milk of the poppy, quite a rare situation for me here, again, apologies for the length here–and all of the Defense of Jaime Lannister pieces!). But excellent points, just mine are rooted in those pages of lore GRRM gave us and I was trying here to critique the show as stated above. Lyanna’s stated desire to keep Bear Island safe, this is very believable. Her letter regarding knowing no King in the North but the one whose name is Stark, that is largely the issue with her then treating two Starks as not worthy of much respect, but listening to Davos. Barbrey Dustin, or Wyman Manderly having to openly condemn or dismiss a Stark, those are intricate and interesting issues, both, this is the simplified version, leaving that out to race to an endpoint, glossing over intricacies in plot that drove the earlier seasons so well, often making little sense.
It’s a petty point, really, but stemming on my part from these two main issues with the show at this point, the show!Badass, cold, one dimensional women (not written this way in the books whatsoever) and faster paced intricate plots that are lacking where they weren’t before. I’m more and more asked by shownly friends to explain what is going on, and as we’re almost entirely out of book world now, it falls to the writers and showrunners to keep things on track that line up at least with what they’ve presented viewers in the past, even if they veer from it heavily as well as from the books, but they seem less and less able to do this well. This was just a good example of that, aside from my “there are no sharks (to jump) in Dorne piece that’s in here somewhere.
As in the Inside the Episode, they wanted to boil down numerous “bearded men” into a very young character with a lot put on her shoulders. She’s just quite a bit more harsh than previous Mormonts have reacted to other Starks, so it’s out of place and odd, and at odds with whatever on the show “the North remembers” right about now.
Now for the love of the old gods and the new, can someone explain how I can discuss these matters with people who have great replies to me or questions without me reblogging or adding edits nonstop? I figured out tagging people, but I’d like to be able to discuss back and forth with people here with their views being shared back and forth with mine instead of just writing what feels like a position paper on the topics! Too many with interesting things to discuss where I can’t seen to hit “reply to”.
Sometimes I wonder if some people read the same books I did.
Hera = wife and queen of the philandering king of the gods, nominally protector of women but often portrayed in myths persecuting the mortal women Zeus impregnated and/or their children = Cersei (killing Robert’s bastards and having their mothers enslaved or killed)
Athena = daughter of the king of the gods who - had she been born a male - was prophesied to surpass Zeus in power, a strategic war leader = Dany (nobody thought the Prince Who Was Promised would be a girl)
Demeter = a mother who loved her daughter so much she disregarded Zeus’s decision to let Hades have Persephone as his wife, a mother who froze nature and brought about a brutal winter in her anger = Catelyn (disregarding Robb’s decision in order to trade Jaime for her daughters and then wreaking vengeance as Lady Stoneheart)
Cersei does not cause chaos for chaos’s sake; she’s motivated by power and pride. Littlefinger is more suited to the role of Discord than any of the female characters in ASoIaF.
That GIF set might be pretty, but it shows a complete lack of understanding of the women characters it purportedly celebrates - or ignorance of Greek mythology beyond titles.
I think the biggest reveal with that Sansa scene where she walks away smiling isn’t the parallel to Jon and Arya both walking away from their scenes after having killed whoever stopped them from going home, but the fact that it’s an opposite parallel. She took pleasure from the act. And even Arya that was tormented by the waif that beat her didn’t seem to take pleasure, we didn’t see her smile, just saw her prepare for the hit, and then saw that she completely beat her back, still no smile (which even surprised me, I’d think she’d feel somewhat good after having killed someone that adamant on making her life hell). Jon the same thing, these people betrayed him, and he still didn’t seem to take pleasure from killing any of them. Both of them walking away after making a point, and killing their “opponents” with their own hands.
Sansa however did the opposite. She took pleasure from the task. She let Ramsay’s dogs do it, she didn’t do it herself. And she was already home. Ramsay wasn’t preventing her from anything anymore. It was pure vengeance, and no honor. I’m sure there were lots of people Ramsay tormented aside from Sansa and if she’d have had a public execution (and maybe a fair trial now that she can give those, it’s what Ned would have done, but okay maybe leave the trial out of it because it’s her first time and she’s still very angry) for Ramsay those people could have also had something. But now she was literally the only person to get vengeance on him. The only one to watch him die, and the only one to feel some kind justice because she could make up the punishment herself without any rules or code or morals.
She just did it Ramsay’s way, not her father’s. I’m not saying she is becoming him, or just as evil as him at all. She’s obviously not an evil sadist (looks a little sadistic in the scene but you have to have some context). But actions do speak louder than words. Saying “I’m a Stark” and acting like any other house (southern ladies, Bolton killing, Littlefinger) isn’t the type of behavior you want to show the people you want to lead. Since they were all big supporters of her father she should probably try to stick as close to him as possible if she wants to be tactful.
But I have drifted off. My point was that Sansa’s killing scene while often compared to Jon’s or Arya’s or both. Was actually not a parallel at all and even the opposite. They all 3 had some people that betrayed them/ made life very hard for them and Sansa went at it a very different way than her siblings. You could argue that she had it the hardest but I don’t see why the writers would put that in (unless it’s bad writing again) unless they were trying to show something. They didn’t have to switch Sansa’s storyline with Jeyne Poole’s. They could have given her something equally as bad as Arya or Jon (if you don’t think they had it as hard as she did because she got raped).
So that’s what I noticed about this “parallel”. There’s a lot more Sansa did which showed a non stark side. Like using Rickon to get Jon to go to war even though she apparently knew he was dead as soon as Ramsay got him. But that is a different story, and this post is just about the supposed parallel.
Still I could perhaps imagine that this was bad writing. Just so that the viewers would be pleased they throw Sansa’s character to the wolves (pun intended). But if that is so, this really is a shitty move and the fact that Ramsay died gave me no pleasure that Jon beating him didn’t. The writers really should get fired and switched for better writers if this was their only motive. If they put this scene in to show that Sansa isn’t as much a Stark as she says she is, I get it because the scene serves a purpose. But if it’s just so that we don’t get bored during a public trial, then these are the most idiotic writers ever.
Hi ! How do you see Littlefinger future and downfall ? He seem so clever, ruthless, and ungettable.
Hi there! Littlefinger is unquestionably very clever and extremely
ruthless, but if you mean “ungettable” in the sense that he’s
invulnerable, I must disagree. Petyr Baelish has some gigantic weaknesses,
chief among them his ego, a fire that demands constant feeding. No true
chessmaster, for example, would spread the rumor that he slept with
both Tully sisters. Doing so exposed Littlefinger’s primary motivation
and social-climbing ambitions to the higher-ups at court; he gets away
with it only because said bluebloods are blinded by their class biases
(though I do still find it hard to believe that Tywin, upon his arrival
in King’s Landing, never realized the danger posed by Littlefinger’s
domination of the capital’s bureaucracy). The master of coin taunts Ned
and Tyrion constantly throughout their respective Handships, drawing a
near-fatal amount of attention to himself. Meanwhile, Varys shows us how
it’s done: arrange private meetings that are respectful (if
occasionally threatening) in tone and remain focused on vital business,
and then go back to melting into the background.
Moreover, Littlefinger’s constant improvisations speak to his recklessness as much as his intelligence. As racefortheironthrone
has pointed out, his framing of Tyrion for the second assassination attempt
on Bran was actually completely unnecessary. If Littlefinger wanted to
set the Starks and Tullys against the Lannisters, he could’ve easily done so by
telling the truth: Robert won the dagger from him, and so
the culprit (probably Joffrey) must have slipped it from the king’s
stores. That Littlefinger lied anyway suggests two mutually reinforcing
possibilities: that he lied for the hell of it or that he was actively trying to endanger Tyrion. The former neatly undercuts one of
the more frustrating Littlefinger myths: that his enjoyment of “the
game” for its own sake makes him insightful and intimidating. No, it
makes him a superficial, self-indulgent asshole!* The latter certainly
finds support in Littlefinger’s puzzling, self-defeating antagonism
towards the acting Hand in A Clash of Kings. It’s certainly
possible, as many have suggested, that Littlefinger is prejudiced
against Tyrion due to the latter’s stature, but I think it has more to
do with the former’s strong dislike of anyone as clever and witty as
him. Tyrion essentially usurps Littlefinger’s role as the dry, droll
court commentator, and that pricks Littlefinger’s aforementioned ego.
Again, compare this self-worship to Varys, who takes genuine pleasure in
Tyrion’s sharp mind and sets out to pool their intellectual resources.
all, contrasting Littlefinger with Varys has become
cliché for a reason. Varys is willing to sublimate his ego for a higher
cause. Littlefinger’s ego is his higher cause. Don’t get me
wrong, both have been directly and indirectly responsible for mass
suffering in Westeros and deserve nothing but condemnation and
incarceration for it, but IMO Littlefinger is both more loathsome and
considerably more pathetic.
With the news of Cersei’s death at the hands of her brother Jaime, and that dragons had returned to Westeros,
spreading throughout the land, Dany began receiving pledges of fealty in the throne room. More and more lords and lordlings arrived by the day. Yara and Theon Greyjoy, Olenna Tyrell, the Sand Snakes of Dorne, Edmure Tully, Randyll and Dickon Tarly, most of the houses from below the Neck had knelt before her.
Not one from above the Neck, or from the Vale,
had shown up yet though.
“Lord Varys,” Dany said, “why have no northern houses or those of the Vale come to swear their allegiance to me?”
Varys darted from a position behind the Iron Throne to one directly in front of her and Tyrion. He dipped his head. “Begging your pardon, your Grace, but they do not recognize you as their queen.”
Men and their egos. They would not give up their ways easily, she knew. Her father had had a difficult time bringing the North and the Vale to heel. It had been the death of him. That would not happen to Dany. These men would be brought to bare. “Who do they see as their liege lord then?”
Varys said, “The King in the North, Your Grace.”
Tyrion chuckled. “The King in the North? Is that what Roose Bolton is calling himself these days? He’s taking his cues from Robb Stark?”
Dany had grown quite fond of hearing his quips about the lords of Westeros. Watching him and Olenna Tyrell go at each other in a battle of wits was a thing of beauty.
The Starks were brutish oafs down to the last man and were responsible for much of the tumult in Westeros. Their ways were the old ways, and the old ways had to die if the Westeros Dany envisioned was to ever come to pass.
Varys looked squarely at Tyrion and put on a peculiar face. He was enjoying this. “House Bolton has been obliterated, Lord Tyrion. My little birds tell me Winterfell is once again in the hands of the Starks, led by none other than Lady Sansa and her bastard brother Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and the aforementioned King in the North.”
Dany could not mistake the hush that fell across her throne room. Theon Greyjoy and
were both almost in tears. The new maester, Samwell, smiled as he stood in the corner, back stiff as a ramrod. Tyrion and Olenna Tyrell were pleased at the news too, and not in a sardonic way at all. Dany thought Lady Olenna incapable of such naked emotion.
Dany looked to Grey Worm and Missandei. They did not understand the solemnity that had befallen the chamber either.
“Sansa and Jon,”
Tyrion said. “But…how?”
Varys manner turned serious again. “My little birds were not able to ascertain all of it, my lord, but Lord Baelish supposedly played a part.”
Of course, he did. Lady Olenna had told Dany all about him. Ambitious, ruthless, a snake on two legs. She had expected him to turn up at court, flattering and lying in a futile scrabble for a position on her small council. If he was in Winterfell, with this pretender, this “King in the North”, and his sister, they were not wise enough to see through his machinations, thus, unfit to rule anyone. “We must ride north,” Dany said.
Tyrion turned to her, concerned. “Uhm…to what end, Your Grace?”
He knew the answer to that. “I told you,” Dany said. “I intend to crush the wheel. Eddard Stark helped install the usurper, and as far as I am concerned he killed my brother and his family, his children, the same as Robert Baratheon. He was as ruthless and evil as any of our fathers were. I know not how you feel about his kin, but there can be only one ruler of Westeros.”
Theon Greyjoy began to say something, but Varys stepped forward first. In a low voice, he said, “I believe your Grace may be somewhat…misinformed as to the late Lord Eddard Stark’s nature. He helped lead the rebellion. It is true, but–”
“I will not be told about the heart of a man like Eddard Stark,” Dany shouted. “We ride north, Lord Varys. Make preparations.”
“As you wish, Your Grace.”
Varys bowed. Then Dany caught him looking to Tyrion before he departed. They would not change her mind on this. Nothing could.