Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sansa • Arya

I dread Sansa chapters. It's like double the work because the reader has to parse through her clueless observations to understand what's really going on. In this chapter, Sansa discovers a note left by the freedom fairy. Someone wants to meet in secret with Sansa to send her home. The "someone" turns out to be Dontos, the knight Sansa saved from a an execution at Joffrey's birthday tournament. Sansa is hopeful, even though the only thing Dontos accomplished thus far was to be demoted from knight to fool.

She later runs into the Hound, who talks all tough but seems like he's actually a big softie, because he doesn't do anything to Sansa even though he's very drunk and knows that she was up to something. Sandor even helps her slip back into the castle. But afterward, he rants at her about how dogs are loyal and how she is a bad liar and horrible person. His love-hate relationship with Sansa is hard to understand. I can't tell if the "song" he wants from her is sex or truth or something else entirely. It is super creepy though, can you imagine a gigantic hulking beast-man hooking up with a tiny girl? Oh right, that happened repeatedly in the Dany chapters already.

I have officially reached the point where I do not care what happens to Sansa at all. I don't care that she might escape or she might get punished with a beating. I don't care that she gets stalked by Littlefinger or the Hound. She's been dead to me ever since she lied about her awesome sister's fight with Joffrey and then ratted out her own father.
____________________

Arya and the lost boys wander around the countryside, having escaped from the Lannisters. They go back to the site of the battle, and find almost everyone dead, including Yoren. The three surviving men quickly abandon the kids, who are forced to eat bugs and frogs and whatever else they can find. It doesn't help that Arya's companions are basically useless. Gendry manages to figure out that "Arry" is a girl, but when Arya comes clean, Gendry freaks out after learning Arya is a "highborn lady." He even bows and tries to apologize for talking about cocks. It's endearing and ridiculous for him to try to use proper manners after they've been through so much brutality together, and quite symbolic of how deeply ingrained the class hierarchy can be in the average peasant. It's also funny because Gendry is half highborn too, he just doesn't know it. As king, he could talk about cocks all he wants.

Arya and Gendry go on a date. Everything was going great: they sneak around stealing food, smelling dead bodies, and watching crows peck out the eyes of hanged men. How romantic! Unfortunately, they are interrupted and captured by GREGOR's men, who have no problem beating down little kids. Lommy, the injured kid who was whining about yielding the whole time, is executed. A GREGORman just calmly drives his spear through Lommy's throat because he didn't want to carry him. It was so casually done, as if he was at a fast food place ordering a cheeseburger. Poor Lommy. He was annoying, but not spear-in-throat annoying. As they are taken away by GREGOR, that argument Arya and Gendry had earlier about m'ladys seems so long ago and trivial. In a fairy tale, maybe Nymeria runs out of the woods and rescues them. But if this chapter has shown us anything, it's that war-torn Westeros is anything but a fairy tale.

59 comments:

  1. Lommy's death is an effective and very well done paragraph, I tend to reread it every so often. Nice to see you equally affected, for a minor event happening to a minor character, you spend a lot of words on it. =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Devotee, I think that Lommy might disagree with you about that being speared is a "minor" thing :p

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, you have officially reached Stage 3 of Sansa-itis. Stage 1 was Annoyance, Stage 2 is not experienced by all, is often brief when it is, and is Pity. Stage 3 is Total Indifference.

    Would you believe me if I tell you Stage 4 is Interest, and Stage 5 is Absolute Fascination?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I never reached stage 5

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stage 5 has only hit a few people. For most, it won't come until (if) book 5 is published. But many people feel it coming, as a mild tingling. You'll know for sure if antibiotics don't clear it up, that it must be Stage 5 Sansa-itis.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I skipped straight to Stage 2 but regressed to Stage 1 in AFFC. :/

    ReplyDelete
  7. A lot of readers divide sharply with their opinion on Sansa. I personally am a fan of her, in the long run at least. She's certainly annoying early on, BUT:

    1) I would say her initial betrayal, while bad, was exacerbated when the stark/lannister grown-ups used this to size each other up for the inevitable power struggles over bigger pots when they get to king's landing. She lied to start with (what nine year old wouldn't?) but she made a play by sticking to her story in the face of a ton of authority figures. It backfired badly, but you have to admit there is a trace of some real backbone in her decision, compared to her just folding and admitting the truth. Losing her wolf out of the deal, while telling, was certainly a harsh comeuppance.

    2) For her betrayal of her father: Cersei, while not the brightest marble in the drawer when it comes to politics, can certainly manipulate a kid. Add in that Sansa's a noble-born girl from the sticks who so obviously is infatuated with all that pretty princess stuff, Cersei not only could read her like a book but also knew how she was being looked up to (in ways more than she looked up to ned) and exploited that. Sansa certainly paid the price for that mistake. Took it on the chin, if you will...

    Anyway, I won't spoil things but will say that right now where you are, as a 10 or so year old girl, she's made some very ballsy moves (and been put into some tough spots), but her decisions have been horrendously miscalculated. She's effectively sided against her family on issues and while that's bitten her badly, I think it's more of an unrefined example of her strong ability to "act outside the box".

    Give her some time to grow up and take to heart the lessons of loyalty, trust, empowerment, consequences, etc and she'll better understand her own long-term goals and threats. And once she learns to fully read and assess the complexities of the chessboard of politics, for my money she'll have the pieces dancing and defying her opponents' plans like a master; and in contrast she could end up making people like littlefinger and varys look like amateurs who've only managed to grasp how each of the little pieces move.

    ReplyDelete
  8. First off: "...as a 10 or so year old girl...". Matt, is it a spoiler if i told you sansa's more at the age of 12 to 13? Well, two years don't sound much, i must admit, but there might be (and have been) some events happening where a 10-y-o-brat would not quite fit in... ;)

    But yeah, Sansa's really some sort of pain in the ass to me as to most of you guys, but i've not quite given up hope she'll gain some "Starkness" once...;)

    Apart from that, great job done by the blogger, as always! All hail to the king of cocks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am on Stage 5 with Sansa and Jaime by now :P

    ReplyDelete
  10. with 'by now' I mean after reading aFfC :) (sorry cannot edit my original post)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stage 5 sansa...I found her chapters the most intriguing of all the chapters in AFFC.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yeah, I'm a Stage Fiver, too. Although I don't think Sansa can ever regain her 'Starkness' - her wolf IS dead, after all.

    And depending on how far anyone wants to take this wolf analogy, she hasn't been a Stark for a long time, and could perhaps be excused for betraying Ned.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've been disgusted by Sansa throughout most of the story so far but I'm coming to the realization that I may be developing a stage 5 fascination as well. I think that much of Sansa's foolishness comes from being a lot like like her old man. Remember that Ned was the guy who thought it was a good idea to tell Cercei Lannister all about his plans to bring her and her family down. Arrrgh!! What a stupid man! This is just the sort of misguided interpretation of honour that I see in Sansa when she comes to some really stupid conclusions.
    I'm starting to suspect that if Sansa has enough Stark in her to do dumb things in the name of honour then she probably has some of the cooler Stark traits in her as well. I'm expecting she'll end up doing something pretty cool and kick-ass that no-one expected, but I wouldn't put it past Martin to make us think that and then have her killed in some horribly ironic way.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Stage 5 for me also. I think she's one of the most realistic and fascinating characters Martin has created, which is quite a feat for an older man to write about the mindset of an adolescent girl. I just like that there's really no telling where her story will go. Ummmm, and about the wolf and so called "stark-ishness", isn't that where the Hound comes in? Robert: "Get her a dog, she'll be happier for it".

    ReplyDelete
  15. Personally, I find both equally difficult when specifically trying to figure out Adult Plot. Either way, Martin is a genius for placing a character like Sansa as a protagonist. She's so in-character and fearful. They both want to survive so badly and they are so young. It makes me sad when I read their chapters.

    Arya + Gendry! A beacon of cuteness.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Arrggg, I'd love to discuss Sansa's current situation (I can sense stage 5 in the not too distant future) but, alas, it does say "spoiler-free" in the comment instructions :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with Kim about the Sansa stages. I am currently in both stage 4 and 5... AFFC is when I entered those stages. I am thinking of her as a "break-out" type character. I can see her doing some kick ass stuff, not in the way of Arya kick ass but still stuff. At least, at this point, that is what I am hoping for.

    Gendry...liking Gendry, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I wish you all would quit throwing spoilers in the comments like complete idiots (read: women). Not that anyone reading here hasn't read through the books, but I'm betting our blogger here shunned reading the comments months ago because of this retardedry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I honestly don't see any comments that mention anything that our blogger hasn't already read and can figure out for himself anyway. I would say that outright misogyny shouldn't be welcome on this blog or any other.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Also, people who were paying attention would have found that quite a while ago, Jason started having a friend filter comments and send the 'safe' ones forward.

    But in this economy, I can understand people refraining from wasting that highly expensive brain power on thinking and just behaving like a jackass. It's cheaper, right?

    ReplyDelete
  21. read: JonNoH - if you don't like the comments, don't read them - stop being an idiot

    ReplyDelete
  22. my bad I guess stating Sansa stays alive till the end of the books so far written and how the reader will probably feel about her in stages isn't any spoiler at all. What was I thinking!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ha ha, I just knew immediately after reading Jason's blog post that Sansa would dominate the comments section! It seems that Sansa is the best character in ASOIAF since everyone feels so strongly about her.

    I am a Sansa fan, I've always found her interesting, because she's so real. She's the normal one. Besides, she is located at the King's Landing and lots of good stuff is happening in her chapters.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just wondering if the power rankings are all being saved somewhere? It might be fun to read them over in order when this project is finished.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This entry wasn't as funny as usual. But I like your blog more than any others out there.

    Small point: Gendry isn't king, even though he's Robert's. A bastard cannot inherit in Westeros, unless he's been legitimized, and no one is going to do that for him.

    -- Canadian Me

    ReplyDelete
  26. i agree, not funny entry

    but hard to be funny when crippled kids are murdered.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well some were asking for more of a reflective entry, so there you go. All good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I don't need uproarious... well-written as per his usual standard.

    ReplyDelete
  29. If people want to post such long, evolved comments that end up spoilering certain things in the series, they should just start their own blog/s. Let this guy read this series and entertain us with this blog without screwing it up, there's plenty of other places to talk about this stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sansa the character may be frustrating/annoying- but Sansa the POV is absolutely an incredible bit of writing by GRRM. Her POV puts the reader in the midst of so many important scenes and lets us see a lot or critical action, and doing it through her initially rose-colored glasses is a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. Of course, I'm hoping Sansa makes it to the end as getting to watch seven seasons of Sophie Turner on the tv show will be wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I cannot believe you people you can't see that you are foreshadowing future events for this character.

    ReplyDelete
  32. who's the one foreshadowing? the one saying what might happen or the one who says it will?!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Agreed - its totally outrageous that anyone would foreshadow or discuss events that haven't occurred yet....oh WAIT, I'm pretty sure the blogger has REPEATEDLY stated that he doesn't read the comments, and that spoilers and other discussion wasn't a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Then why aren't you people just saying it all outright in the first place if you're so comfortable with him not reading the comments? Just talk specifics and stop trying to ride some imaginary line that doesn't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Why does the blogger say Sansa betrayed her father? She didn't. She asked leave to stay in King's Landing, and Cersei got all the rest. She didn't mean to betray her father, but to stay at King's Landing doing what she's been taught to do all her life. Bad? Yes, but hardly betraya.
    I wonder... When Ned told Cersei he knew about the incest, Cersei immediately sent Lancel with fortified wine so Robert would die in the hunting. So, Sansa's unwilling slip of information to Cersei merits her traitor status (she's eleven and brainwashed at that point in her life). But Ned's willing spill of information at age 35, which directly causes Robert's death, merits him being thought of as a noble guy?

    That's what I don't understand. The characters did basically the same. The difference is Ned knew Cersei was a traitor, and was 35 years old at the time. Sansa was eleven-twelve and did not know Cersei was a traitoress. Again: she asked leave to stay at King's Landing. From such a question, Cersei must have known they were going somewhere.

    If you hate Sansa because she's haughty, stuck up, cheesy as hell, looks at clothing and doesn't wield a sword or wants to learn to kill, that's OK. What bothers me is that people, instead of admitting they hate her for that, accuse her of being a heinous traitor. And frankly, if she's a traitor, then Ned was worse, because Ned knew what was happening at the time.

    If you dislike her for being annoying, now that's different. I think she's an original character, but yes, she's haughty and annoying. But I like her development because it's different.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great post above. And spoiler free :]

    ReplyDelete
  37. People like to blame Sansa for Ned's death because she's an unsympathetic character in most of her early chapters. It's hard not to like Ned, as honorable and morally upright guy he is. But the fact of the matter is Sansa's talk with Cersei was only one small factor in Ned's death. Here's a quick list of ways Ned got himself killed off the top of my head.

    - Refused Renly's reasonable offer of aid
    - Warned Cersei of his plan to reveal her incest
    - Trusted Littlefinger

    I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting.

    ReplyDelete
  38. soooooooo this blog died.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Actually, I believe the blogger just started as a first year associate lawyer - meaning his "free time" just plummeted to zero for the foreseeable future....we'll see if/when he has time to post again. Honestly, law firms 'eat their young' so we might not get another update until December (assuming his hit his target billable hours and/or bonus for the first year, and can squeeze in some free time).

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hm, that makes sense. It's too bad though, I really enjoy reading this blog.

    Hopefully when the Holiday season rolls around, he'll have a little down time to read (and type)!

    ReplyDelete
  41. If what you say is true, congrats to the blogger. Being employed in this legal market is a great achievement. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. If what you say is true, condolences to the blogger. Being employed in this legal market might be a great achievement for most, but being a physicist I'd sooner kill myself than work as a lawyer.

    Nevertheless good jog having any employment at all, I really hope you enjoy it. Also, try to keep this blog up, because its awesome. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Congrats on the job, but so very sorry that you don't have time to update...

    Hoping for a nice holiday season ;)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Is there an RSS feed on this blog?

    ReplyDelete
  45. This blog has inspired me to start my own "read through" blog, but, seeing as I've already read A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings (and A Storm of Swords), I'll be doing it with the only Ice and Fire book I haven't read, A Feast For Crows.

    Thanks for the inspiration, man. Hope to see you back editing again as soon as possible. In the mean time, hope all's well and that you're enjoying life.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Yes, when you have free time, please come back!

    ReplyDelete
  47. We miss this blog... your adoring fans need you!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Spoiler-free GRRM animation!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6QyXl6d2M

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi...just found this, and love reading through it! I hope to see you come back to it one day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. please come back! please please

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have just read all your blog one-shot. Please continue, I love it !
    *I'm sorry my english may be bad

    ReplyDelete
  52. I think this guy's dead. RIP. I will pour a drink on the ground for you and my homies.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hey, your blog is almost as much fun as reading the books. Why did you stop?

    ReplyDelete
  54. I have really enjoyed this blog and am disappointed you stopped. I hope you can start it up again. You have a great perspective and a throughly enjoyable style. If you can't start it again, I wish you well on your future endeavors.
    Patches

    ReplyDelete
  55. I've just read this post, but really enjoy it. I might have to blog my own reactions to reading Ice and Fire--I need SOMETHING to get me back to blogging, and I'm so obsessed with the series right now that it's about all I think about, so I might as well. :)I just started Clash of Kings, so I'm not too far into things.

    I look forward to reading even more of yours--it seems like there are so many people who know the whole story front-to-back that it's great to read the perspective of someone else who is new to it as well! I hope you're able to get back to writing it full time, as the other posters have said!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I love feedback and comments, but please keep them spoiler-free. Enjoy!