Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sansa • Eddard

Sansa watched as the newly crowned King Joffrey read out the list of traitors, which included her parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and a host of other names. Basically, it was a checklist of every cool character in the series, minus Tyrion and the Cleganes. Then he dismisses Ser Barristan from the Kingsguard and appoints Tywin and Jaime to high ranking positions. I know we're supposed to feel bad for this old guy, but Mr. Selmy really wasn't getting it done. Did the United States let whoever was protecting JFK guard the next President? Hell no. If I was Cersei I'd fire him too.

Sansa then begs for Joffrey to spare her father's life. Of course, had Sansa not been an idiot and divulged Eddard's plans to the Lannisters, Joffrey would be the one begging for mercy. Eddard will have to confess to the crime, something I doubt he'll do because of his rigid adherence to honor and duty. What a mess. Is Martin trying to make us hate women? Because Catelyn arrests the wrong guy, Cersei is a gigantic bitch, Sansa is a vapid traitor, and Lysa is literally insane. The only two likeable female characters are a trophy wife for The Rock and a preteen wild child who is basically a boy.

Eddard is not having a fun time in the dungeons of King's Landing. He blames himself for failing Robert and for the horrible situation he's in. He lost to Cersei in a battle of wits. That's like losing to Sam in swordfighting or GREGOR in chess. It should have been like taking candy from a baby. Eddard becomes delusional, talking to himself and dreaming about the good old days, when he wasn't locked up in a windowless room for being a traitor to his best friend. He remembered the time Jaime was inducted into the Kingsguard (lol bad decision, Aerys) and when Pimp Rhaegar dissed his own wife for Lyanna.

Varys comes in and tells Eddard about all the mistakes he made: his decision to warn Cersei, his refusal of Renly's offer, and not listening to Littlefinger's advice. Varys tells Eddard what he should do: swallow his pride, confess to treason, and be granted mercy by the Lannisters. If Eddard can do that, he'll be sent to the wall. Not a great fate, because we all know Eddard loves his whores and property rights, but it's still better than being dead. What's Vary's stake in all this? Why, he's just serving the realm... and trying to save his own ass. If Eddard can't do it for himself, then he should do it for his daughter. Varys then offers Eddard a choice -- does he want the next visitor to bring him milk of poppy for the pain, or bring him his daughter's head?

To me, neither of those two choices sound so bad. Of course, I'm kidding. I don't actually want Sansa dead. Not because she had good intentions, or that she didn't know any better, or that a largely innocent young girl doesn't deserve such a fate. I don't want Sansa dead because living out her days as Joffrey's wife and Cersei's daughter-in-law is a far worse fate than death.


  1. Haha, the new power ranking is full of win. I'm loving these entries. Keep it up.

  2. keep reading, seriously. this is the best part, would you pause a movie right before the climax? damn the blog, you can always come back

  3. The best part is just ahead ...

  4. I liked the GREGOR and chess comment. It made me think "Let the Wookie win."

  5. to GREGOR, all pieces are pawns

  6. did anyone else hate LF for a while after that cruel and not-very-funny joke at selmy's expense?

  7. I've pretty much permanently hated LF.

  8. I thought it was rather funny myself.
    Knights and lords have to high opinion of themselves, and Selmy is not a person I have much respect for. The best characters are the ones that see true the "honor" into their true nature: Littlefinger, The Hound and Tyrion.

  9. Selmy is quite the badass, we just havn't seen that side of him yet. But he turns it around to be sure.

  10. Thank goodness I'm not the only one that thinks all GRRM's female characters suck. Sometimes the man makes me want to cut out my own uterus.

  11. Question of the day: Would it be harder to lose to Sam at swordfighting or GREGOR at chess?

  12. You always lose when you play chess with GREGOR, mainly because the game always ends with the chess board through your skull

  13. You'd actually try and beat Gregor in chess? Let me know how that works out for you.

  14. As a certain psychobitch once said.

    'When you play the game of thrones you either win or you die...'

    Of course playing GREGOR at chess (or any other boardgame for that matter) you die no matter what! However your name's Tywin Lannister things are rather different...

  15. The foreseeing to Sansas Fate is great ;)

  16. AnonyKim, your comment begs the question - if you hate all of GRRM's female characterizations, why do you read this series? I would think you would find it intolerable.

    Personally, I think a lot of the women have some terrible traits, true, but so do most of the male characters. Martin doesn't shirk from portraying anybody's flaws.

    And Daenerys is my favorite female character, any genre.

    Roland of Gilead

  17. Great stuff.

    Although one thing:

    "Did the United States let whoever was protecting JFK to guard the next President?"

    The answer to that is yes, they did. In fact, Clint Hill (the guy who threw himself on the back of the car) became head of security for LBJ a few years later ;-)

  18. Roland,

    I'm not sure I understand your question. There are male characters, too, you know. Just because I am a woman doesn't mean I won't read something if there are no likeable female characters. It is actually, in my experience, rare to find a male author who can write decent female characters. I would be very surprised if men didn't feel the same way about a lot of female authors and the work with male characters.

    And I actually like Dany's chapters.

    Possible spoilers to follow:

    I'm also starting to like Sansa, and I have high hopes for her chapters, but my interest in Arya is waning.

  19. Am I the only one who likes Cersei _because_ she's such a bitch? I also enjoy Sansa because of her naivety.

  20. i think jasons going to enjoy the next few sansa chapters

  21. No, you aren't. I also like all of the more deeply flawed characters, just for that reason, even the ones that are not very clever with their actions.

  22. Dany is a classic Mary Sue for me. Cersei has a very sophisticated character and is worked out well for my opinion. Dany Sue is "just" the perfekt girl which bores me. I love the Dany chapters but not because of Dany.

  23. Anonymite,

    I think a distinction needs to be made between characters we 'like' and characters we are invested in. The only female characters I have any liking (or affection for) after 4 books are Dany and Arya. But I have after 4 books become invested in Cersei in the sense that I'm rabid for her demise. But I certainly don't like her.

    A bad book is not one in which none of the characters are likeable, it is one in which you don't care what happens to any of them. I should perhaps have been clearer, when I said I didn't like any of the female characters, what I meant was not only that I just don't like them, but that I do not feel invested in their futures.

    I read the first book because I was invested in the story. Then the story got a bit too complicated so I became invested in certain characters. With the exception of Dany, none of them were female characters (except Arya from time to time, I'm getting less interested in Arya lately, but more in Sansa). But at the conclusion of 4 books, I am reading for the following things - the fate of Jaime and Tyrion and Dany, the outcome of LF's plans, and the demise of Cersei. And to find out who Jon's mom is.

  24. I'm so impatient for new posts now.. But I feel a little bad about it. I remember being pretty blindsided by some things in this series.

  25. I guess since Jason is almost done with the first book it's ok for "AnonyKim" to go ahead and start with the spoilers? But I guess since you always half to EXPLAIN yourself it's OK. Damn I even think you was one of the ones who were getting on to other people about giving away to much? So why don't you take your own advice? Don't even start with how Jason don't read the comments because you damn well he does. And besides that there are a few people who are following him and it's there first read to. So why don't you give your big selfish self a clap on the back or better yet quit posting?

  26. Seriously. I know most of the commenters are also on Tower of the Hand or the forums. Go talk _there_ and lay off the spoilers here.

  27. Jason has told us that he has a friend who reads the comments for him and forwards along those that don't have spoilers. Even so, I avoid mentioning anything specific. If you think it is a spoiler to say that characters change, that's between you and your god. But I think you're letting your knowledge of the future books color what are actually very neutral statements.

    And yes, generally I do HAVE to explain myself, because I think it's only polite to make sure one is as clear as possible.

  28. I agree with Anonymous, AnonyKim should just quit posting and go to one of the other sites that talk about this book.

  29. I'm with you Penny. There is a certain event I cant wait to read about, and I'm checking my reader every morning and night to see if its been blogged about here yet. I want to hurry Jason up, but all in good time eh.

  30. Is Martin trying to make us hate women?
    Oh, gods, no. You hate women and pour your hatred into the books, forgetting all objectivity, ignoring facts when you please, and inventing what's not written in the book when it suits you. Martin has nothing to do with your misogyny.

    Of course, had Sansa not been an idiot and divulged Eddard's plans to the Lannisters, Joffrey would be the one begging for mercy.
    Can I ask you why on earth you don't call Eddard an idiot for divulging his plans to the Lannisters?
    So, Eddard Stark, 35 years old, tells Cersei Lannister that he's going to charge her for incest and treason. He knows Cersei is somewhat related to the murder attempt of his five-year old son. Still, he speaks. As an immediate result, (as you know from Clash of Kings), Cersei stages the death of Robert Baratheon.
    Sansa Stark, 11 years old, asks Cersei Lannister for permission to stay at King's Landing. She knows Cersei is related to the killing of her direwolf, but according to the septa and Daddy, it was Arya's fault. Still, she speaks. As an immediate result, her father is inprisoned and then killed.
    If they did exactly the same, can you explain why the hell the 35 year old guy is “noble” and “courageous” and “awesome” and the eleven year old kid is “a stupid traitor”? Either both are traitorous and stupid, or none of them is, because they did exactly the same thing with exactly the same result.

    Another point where your opinions of women show is in your earnest belief that Littlefinger had sex with Catelyn. Catelyn Stark, with all her flaws, has been shown to remember (not brag, not speak, not defend her honor, we see that in her mind) that she gave her maidenhood to Eddard Stark. So, she remembers one thing, and Littlefinger says another. Either Cat lies to herself or Littlefinger lies to everyone. In any case, most of us have the doubt. You have chosen to believe Petyr Baelish, despite you can't really know who's saying (or thinking) the truth. And you chose to believe Petyr because the way you see it, it makes Petyr better and Catelyn worse. You think Petyr “wins” over Catelyn because of that. Because it suits your views of Petyr and Catelyn, you believe him, despite no one knows what really happened, and certainly you can't know. Your objectivity isn't exactly praiseworthy there.

  31. And this list of yours is amazing:

    Because Catelyn arrests the wrong guy,
    In response to Jaime throwing her five year old off a tower. But Jaime is cool. He has a sword. And everyone know killing infants is awesome, while arresting and giving a fair trial is totally bitchy.

    Cersei is a gigantic bitch,
    Robert Baratheon is a drunkard who neglects the throne and government, and leaves the crown heavily indebted. Oh, it was to pay for whores and ale, he's awesome. And Littlefinger did betray Eddard Stark. That doesn't make them bastards, of course. They're men.

    Sansa is a vapid traitor,
    Sansa is a traitor because not knowing what Cersei was, she asked leave to stay at King's Landing. Because I remind you, that's what's written in the book, that she asked Cersei for permission to stay at the court, not that she went thinking “I'm going to betray my father”. Cersei got the rest from her, probably helped by the fact that Ned Stark had warned her in advance. Ned was equally stupid, and provoked the death of his lifelong friend Robert Baratheon. But of course, Ned isn't stupid. He directly caused Robert's death, but that doesn't make him a traitor. He has a king-sized sword, he can get away with anything.

    and Lysa is literally insane.
    But GREGOR who rapes and kills smallfolk happily, is AWESOME! He had the idea of tearing men's eyes, isn't that AWESOME? Awesome justifies everything! Would Sansa Stark be SANSA if she ordered someone's eyes torn out?

    Is Martin trying to make us hate women?
    Nope. You hate women and try to justify your hatred by adding non-existing flaws to female characters (Sansa is stupid due to her total cluelessness, but a traitor she is certainly not; you don't know if Cat had sex with Littlefinger); and ignoring the very same flaws in male characters (Jaime is as much a male-bitch as Cersei, Tywin is a cold bastard, Gregor is as insane as Lysa, only psychopathic, and Ned did exactly the same thing you hate Sansa for).

    So, no. It's not Martin. It's you.

  32. The only two likeable female characters are a trophy wife for The Rock and a preteen wild child who is basically a boy.
    Because Jaime the childslayer, Robert the Drunkard, Gregor The Criminal-Against-Mankind that Rides, Tywin the one who ordered the gang-rape of the girl his son loved, and Tyrion who participated in the gang-rape (I don't care that she was a whore, even whores have a right to stop when the sheet is all bloody) are all extremely nice characters. Oh, but I forgot it... They're awesome! They're men.

    Now trying to be serious. What buggers me is not your feelings of hatred, I quite disliked Sansa in the first book myself. What buggers me is that you think you're being objective. People are saying you are working in the legal field, and it seems to be true because in your entries you show legal knowledge. What scares me is that you might judge other people some day, and you seem to ignore facts when it suits you, or apply a different standard for the very same deeds depending on your opinion of the character. Has a huge sword and takes his kid to executions? If he speaks up and causes a death, he's noble. Has a harp and takes her wolf to eat lemon cakes? If she speaks up and causes a death, she's a traitor. Huh? Double standards much?

    I understand that Martin is a guy and as a result, the coolest characters are guys. I also understand fantasy is not real life and you might like a serial killer in fiction, while in real life you'd rather have a gorgeous housewife. I understand people disliking ASOIAF's female characters because, in rule of cool and rule of awesomeness, the guys get more of both. What I don't get is the hatred. Or even, if people said “I hate her for her lack of initiative” or “I hate her because she's boring” or “I hate her because she won't stab Joff when she has the chance”. OK, fine, I understand that. It's the lack of objectivity that pisses me off. It's the inventing offenses that weren't there (Sansa isn't a traitor) or ignoring them in other characters (Sansa acts stupidly... just as her father does). Why don't you just admit you hate Sansa because she doesn't wield a sword?

    Good lords, if you work in the legal field, you might become a judge some day. The lives of people will depend on someone who refuses to see the truth (or invents untruths) to justify his likes and dislikes. You judge the same actions differently according to whether you find the character “cool” or not. “Awesomeness” is your justification when characters commit crimes. Any crime. I just hope you work a bit on your objectivity before you ever get into a courthouse.


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