Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catelyn • Sansa

Catelyn is spending all her time in Bran’s room and fears that he might die at any moment. Her absence has taken its toll on Robb and Rickon. I understand her concern, but ignoring the mental health of her other children is more irresponsible than leaving Bran’s side. She can’t control his condition, so there's no need to be there. However, her irrationality saves Bran's life, because the Lannisters send an assassin to kill him. Catelyn slows the guy down long enough for Bran’s wolf to take him out. I thought the direwolves were still pups, but apparently they are strong enough now to rip out throats. The Starks are starting to see that the direwolves are special, but I wonder if Catelyn realizes that in this analogy, she's the big dead mom wolf in the snow with an antler in her throat. The traumatic event shocked Catelyn back to her senses, and now she's headed to King's Landing in search of the truth.

It was dumb of Jaime to give his goon a super expensive identifiable knife -- he might as well have written "rich people want coma boy silenced" in big neon lights. It's not surprising that Jaime or Cersei would try something so reckless and stupid. They call Jaime the "Kingslayer" but so far he's failed twice at killing a helpless seven-year-old boy. What happens when he has something difficult to kill?

Sansa gets her own chapter! I know that Eddard and Catelyn need to have their own chapters to narrate events through adult eyes in the middle of the main storylines, but I'm not sure if a Sansa POV would be interesting or necessary. Thus far she seems like the typical highborn girl, and her boringness is emphasized even more by how different Arya acts. Sansa is obsessed with Joffrey, looks down on Jon, and is embarrassed by Arya. You can't really blame her, because young girls brought up in such an environment typically only care about boys and social status. Even though this chapter is told through Sansa, Arya is the one who drives the action. I thought it was ironic that Sansa actually asked Catelyn if Arya was a bastard, because it really should be the other way around. Sansa is the only Stark child who doesn't act like a Stark.

Sansa is so excited about her date with Joffrey that it makes her completely change her viewpoint on horseback riding. Joffrey initially is very chivalrous, protecting her from the Hound and that scary Payne guy, but when they encounter Arya sparring with a peasant friend, Joffrey turns into a pompous jerk. One thing leads to another and Arya hilariously beats him up with Nymeria's help. Afterward, Sansa is horrified and tries to comfort the injured prince, but he's not having it. Sansa's dream of being a queen in a big castle is crumbling right before her eyes.


  1. "but I'm not sure if a Sansa POV would be interesting or necessary"

    Yeah, it's not.

  2. Hey mercy, how about we let the guy find out things for himself, mmkay?

  3. mercy, thanks for that useless comment that will be deleted.

  4. Jason, I hope you have someone screening the comments for you. I'd eliminate the second one (by one "mercymtdarling") just so it doesn't contaminate your views.

    As for Sansa... yes, her POV is rather flighty, but if you think about it is a major shift in how the royal family is seen. Her sheltered upbringing stops her from seeing the Lannisters for the corrupt family you already know them to be, and thus it is closer to how much of the kingdom sees them.

    Without going into details, there will be more to Sansa than these insights, but they are important nevertheless. Unlike annonymous #1, I do find Sansa's POV chapters both interesting and very necessary, and maybe you will as well in the fullness of time.

    Grey Wolf

  5. “in this analogy, she's the big dead mom wolf in the snow with an antler in her throat”

    Good observation. I never considered that before.

  6. Man if I were you id just say fuck the blog, I'm just going to enjoy reading. That's not to say I'm not enjoying it, I am. Id get sick of it though. But your in it now, so if you stop, we'll know your lazy.

  7. Just a reference on direwolves - when full grown they are something like five feet tall at the shoulder, so even the puppies are kind of ginormous.

    Oh, and I'm loving your blog so PLEASE don't stop writing it. Having read the series through twice now, and analyzed it to death on the 'net, the only way I can recapture the 'first time' experience is vicariously.

    -Kim (not anonymous at all)

  8. Kim, you may want to use the "name/URL" option rather than the "anonymous" one, then. You needn't give a URL, and it is less jarring, in my not particularly humble opinion.

    Grey Wolf

  9. Knight of winterMay 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    That Catelyn chapter is a thriller!

    When I first read it I had chills when the assassin was in Bran's sickroom and telling Catelyn "You weren't supposed to be here!" I can just imagine him, unwashed and smelling bad with rotten teeth and and unkept hair.

    Creepy to the max!

  10. It is fun to watch as you catch things I didn't catch till much later as well as watching you miss things I did catch. (There have already been quite a few of both.) It's very enjoyable seeing it through your eyes. Keep it up!

  11. Heh-heh read on, noob, read on . . .

  12. The analogy of Catelyn as the mother direwolf was actually a very insightful one that I never picked up on before. So thanks for that. It's not all that unusual that Sansa has doubts about Arya as a Stark. All of Ned and Catelyn's children look like Tully's (Catelyn's maiden name), except for Arya, she's more Starklike than her siblings. You have to also remember that Sansa believes a lady acts the way she's seen her mother and Queen Cersei behave in public and like Princess Myrcella. Arya's tomboyish behaviour is totally abhorrent to Sansa. I too loved seeing her humiliate Joff, though.

  13. Grey Wolf,

    It was a bit of a joke. What if my parents really had named me Anonymous? How upset would I be by all this discrimination? ;)

    Oh, and I would like to echo the mama direwolf analogy. I never saw that. But I have to disagree with all the people who are having a hard time believing this is Jason's first read because he's 'so insightful'. In my opinion, he's missing a lot of stuff. All the stuff none of us noticed until we did a reread or someone pointed it out to us, and a couple of other things to boot.


  14. Why the fuck are these kind of comments being allowed to be posted? "Oh the analogy of the dead wolf is spot on". Fucking idiots. Do you people have any idea what your saying? Did this useless assassin somehow kill Catelyn and I missed it?

  15. Jason,

    Really enjoying the blog.

    I'd echo the sentiments above and suggest that you either appoint some folks to screen the comments (I'm sure you'd have plenty of volunteers), or stay away from the comments entirely.

    Selfishly, I'd hate to be deprived of your viewpoint and writing because of spoiler-related frustration.


  16. Re the anonymous comment after AnonyKim, maybe you should actually read what people have written before you start calling them "fucking idiots".

    No one said that the analogy of the dead wolf was "spot on". I said it was a good observation, Chris said it was very insightful, and AnonyKim echoed our sentiments. All of us had not considered that analogy before.

    Do we know what we're saying? Yes, we do. Do you know what "your" saying? Obviously not.

  17. Are you serious? By granting a comment merit you are ultimately sharing insight and giving it credence.

  18. ... clearwater revival.

  19. LMAO!!!!
    That last Anonymous post made by day. TGIF folks - I'm out. Great work Jason, keep it up.

  20. Kim, he admitted that he has someone that fills him in without ruining the story.

  21. "By granting a comment merit you are ultimately sharing insight and giving it credence."

    It depends on what type of merit you grant the comment. If you say that the analogy is spot on, for example, then yes. In this case, however, we merely described the observation as good/insightful in acknowledgment of the fact that we did not make that connection as we read through that part of the story. Future events are not considered within the confines of those statements.

  22. I'm sorry but that is wrong. By saying it is good/insightful you are saying there is truth to the comment. If you were only acknowledging that this analogy never once occurred to you, you would say exactly that, "this never once occurred to me". But you didn't, not even in your last post. You acknowledged a "connection" between the analogy and the subject.

    The future is intrinsic in this as the metaphor is about what is to come.

  23. No, it's not wrong. You can acknowledge someone’s insight in noting an analogy even if you don’t know if all of the implications of that analogy will turn out to be true. If I had been reading along with Jason for the first time, I would have made the same comment, which is why I said it here.

    Take Lost as another example. My friends have noted a number of analogies that I had missed, each having their own implications. I am fully capable of saying that some of these are good observations even if I don’t know that the implications of these analogies will turn out to be true.

    “If you were only acknowledging that this analogy never once occurred to you, you would say exactly that, "this never once occurred to me". But you didn't, not even in your last post.”

    Jesus Christ, man. Can you not read? I said that in all three of my posts! First post: “I never considered that before.” Second post: “All of us had not considered that analogy before.” Third post: “…we did not make that connection as we read through that part of the story.”

    “You acknowledged a "connection" between the analogy and the subject.”

    The “connection” I acknowledged was that of the analogy itself. I did this by complimenting Jason on his own acknowledgment of the analogy, which I had not seen. This is NOT a spoiler!

    “The future is intrinsic in this as the metaphor is about what is to come.”

    And who said that, Anonymous? I certainly didn’t.

  24. "Heh-heh read on, noob, read on . . ."

    too funny.

  25. Kohl, your inability to understand anonymous is astounding. Ugh, i can't believe im even responding to such stupidity.

  26. WTF? I understand what Anonymous has said, and responded with examples to illustrate my counterarguments. Your own rebuttal effectively equates to, "Well, you're stupid." Do you win many arguments that way, dan?

  27. Ok mate, heres the original analogy in full. "...but I wonder if Catelyn realizes that in this analogy, she's the big dead mom wolf in the snow with an antler in her throat".

    First of all, at this point in the story has Catelyn died without me noticing? No. Therefore it is automatically about an eventual occurrance.

    I assume we have both read the books, and in doing so we know when things are true or false. Therefore your first point is an erroneous one.

    As well as this, in your first comment you didnt just say, " I never considered that before", you first said " good observation". Heres why I think your whole "Lost" point is bullshit.

    When you and your Friends are considering Lost, you are all at the same point in the story, so there is no harm from spoilers, or from your friends bringing somthing to your attention that you missed. What you are doing is speculating on future events, whilst considering the past, and in doing so, possibly making an inference. Now, an observation and an inference are different.

    Yes, you can say that something was a good observation because you have witnessed it or know it to be true, or that this analogy, considering the evidence, MAY be correct, but not for certain if it hasn't occurred. This is the case with Catelyn.

    You couldn't possibly say an inference was insightful, considering the book, if you had not read the outcome, because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest why Catelyn should be compared to this dead wolf, because quite simply, she is breathing, and safe at this moment. You obviously don't know what insightful means.

    Jasons analogy is an inference, not an observation, whether he meant it or not, and by saying " good observation" (even though your wording is wrong), you are saying this is correct, and Catelyn will be in the shit soon, because you have read the book. This is not the situation for you and your Lost buddies.

    How can you miss a point so badly? First of all, you wouldn't acknowledge a connection and call something insightful if it wasn't connected between something you accepted as a truth in the first place, which is what the analogy is infering.

    Conclusion: You are wrong

  28. You appear to be saying that I can complement Jason’s observation of the analogy if I am at the same point in the story as he is, but since I have read the whole series, the exact same comment from me is now a spoiler. This is where the bullshit of this conversation lies.

    Yes, an observation and an inference are different. Jason clearly made the observation of an analogy between the dead mama direwolf and Catelyn. That is, he became aware of this analogy through careful and directed attention – see the definition of “observe” at In this case, the analogy is at least partially correct, as they are both mothers of direwolves (one literally and one symbolically). Because Jason already knows this, complementing him on his observation of this analogy is not a spoiler.

    Now, an inference from this analogy is that Catelyn will somehow be killed by a stag (i.e., Baratheon), since that is how her counterpart in this analogy was killed. It appears from his comments that Jason also made this inference, but you yourself have correctly noted that I complemented him on his observation, not on his inference. It is a good observation, and it may be a good inference, depending on whether it turns out to be true. If the inference does turn out to be true, then the analogy is even better, but if it turns out to be false, the analogy is still there and is still good IMO. Again, either way there is no spoiler.

    The ludicrous irony of this whole situation is that you are the one who is spoiling the plot. I (and two other people) made benign comments on Jason’s observation, and then you go ahead and say that my wording was wrong and I truly meant to confirm the accuracy of his inference, and then call spoiler on me! Do you see how fucking ridiculous this is?

    “You couldn't possibly say an inference was insightful, considering the book, if you had not read the outcome, because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest why Catelyn should be compared to this dead wolf…”

    You sure didn’t look very hard, did you?

    “You obviously don't know what insightful means.”

    First of all, I did not personally use the word “insightful” when complementing Jason’s observation. Second, you should certainly not be one to talk about how another person doesn’t have his definitions right.

  29. kohl is it you need a zanax, and sansa chapters are boring as hell just like her mothers, but I guess martin needed book filler.

  30. I dunno man, it's common enough for kids to come out of comas or other traumas (I don't know, surgery or something) and go a little nuts if their parents aren't there. And she also thinks that he might die, it would obliterate a mother to not be there. Robb may be feeling pressure but I don't think his mental health is suffering, and the other thing you have to remember (or realize) is that in medieval times women were not expected to be as invested in their children as peasant women were (and our modern family unit is more comparable to a common born family than a noble one). Here is a (mediocrely written, but properly documented) run down of noblewomen's lives, ctrl+F for "mother". There's a castle full of people to care for Rickon and Robb, particularly Old Nan in Rickon's case, so while it would've been a good thing for Lady Catelyn to have kept her cool here, I think it's hard to blame her and probably better to understand the context of her times, at least.

    I gotta pick on you about Sansa a bit too; young women were not brought up to care only about boys and status, I think that's a modern stereotype there. She will have to worry about marrying well (rather, her dad will have to worry about it and she'll have to deal with it), but noblewomen were supposed to be brought up to be household managers. Beauty is important for them, but the idea that proper ladies just dressed well and laughed gaily and embroidered all day is not really appropriate to the middle ages.

    Don't mean to pick on you too much, just thought I could share. Right on about Jaime, can't even kill a seven year old right ;) and Arya beating Joffrey up remains a higlight after all these years.

  31. "kohl is it you need a zanax"

    Why would you think that? All I did was defend myself after being called a "fucking idiot" for complementing Jason on an observation.

  32. Anonymous, do us a favor? STFU. Leave off on other people, stick to discussing the blog, form your own opinions instead of bashing someone elses.. fucking asshole

  33. And great work Jason, this is interesting and entertaining. You needn't take this series as seriously as people lead you to believe, there is comedy present in it. Albeit a dark sort.

  34. I wonder if Petyr will ever fuck sansa in the new book that would be funny lol


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