This chapter convincingly portrays a depressed Sansa: still self-absorbed (imagining how her suicide would shame those who mistreated her), yet becoming increasingly self-aware, and even able to resist Joffrey within her mind.
- Arys Oakheart isn’t that stellar of a guy here.
- “[Sansa wished] that someone would throw [Ilyn Payne] down and cut off his head.” I call that a prediction.
- Sandor holds the unique position of apparently being able to sass Joffrey with impunity.
…which is not the same as loving Sansa.
The presentation of her insensitivity to, and denial of, Jeyne’s plight … just classic Sansa, wildly pathological adn totally believable. The hostage/brainwashing stuff is pitch-perfect, too.
- Sansa dreams of being queen with Joffrey … the Joffrey part won’t come to pass, but could “everyone she had ever known came before her, to bend the knee” be foreshadowing?
- The mere fact that Petyr asks for Jeyne ought to clue anyone in that he has some plan for her which will likely be to his advantage and no one else’s, and that therefore the person able to hand her over to him shouldn’t, if only to guard their own self-interest. Cersei takes the bait, though.
- We only learn indirectly that Fat Tom is probably dead.
Syrio is dead. His really being Jaqen, etc. would greatly cheapen this gorgeous scene.
Elsewhere in this chapter:
- The coincidence of Arya running across Hullen just as he dies is a bit much.
- “This time the [dragon skulls] did not frighten her. They seemed almost old friends.” Foreshadowing?
- Old Nan says: there are spiders and “rats as big as dogs” in the Winterfell crypt.
- Great line: “she’d killed him, and if he jumped out at her she’d kill him again.”
As of the end of ADwD, I’m beginning to think it’s the mare (Dany) who will “unite the Dothraki into a single khalasar” and all that.
Viserys’ end is one of the series’ great scenes. Daenerys, like Sansa, goes “cold” and “curiously distant,” but here it feels like an appropriate response to the situation. Maybe because, unlike those whose deaths Sansa dismisses from her consciousness, Viserys is known to have brought his fate upon himself. (And Daenerys will never remember this as the most magical time of her life, or silver-lining philosophize that now she can find someone handsomer to hang out with.)
Ah, the irony: Ned will someday tell Sansa how helpful(!) she was to him this day. Varys is “worse” than Littlefinger because he “[does] too little.” (Yeah, what was he thinking prepping only three or four Targaryen heirs?) Jon Arryn died “for the truth” (although Ned is finally right about Bran almost-dying for it).
I forgot that Sandor is now technically lord of Cleganeland, or whatever it may be called.
To Ned, the guardsman Tomard isn’t laughable “Fat Tom,” but a sensible and trustworthy supporter.
This chapter is probably Cersei’s sympathetic peak.
“What would Catelyn do, if it were Jon’s life, against the children of her body?” Is that some kinda foreshadowing?
Ned, still snarky!
Second use of the titular phrase, by Cersei.
Sansa is still a frigging psychopath, or at least in a highly dissociated state … and it’s still totally entertaining to read about! The tournament, where she watched a man die a horrible violent death, is now “the most magical time of her whole life”; she thinks spiked heads are appropriate brunch conversation; she’s not too concerned with murder so long as the victim is replaced by someone more handsome. Not to mention the utter self-absorption of “[Arya] hates that [I, Sansa, am] going to marry the prince” — yeah, and they hate us for our freedom.
More random thoughts:
- Sansa’s idealized Loras resembles one of Old Nan’s stories? Sandor would seem more at home in the ones we’ve heard so far.
- “Lord Beric would never look at [Jeyne Poole], even if she hadn’t been half his age.” Isn’t marrying women half one’s age too common to be remarked on in this social milieu? Though maybe the issue is that Jeyne isn’t a woman at all yet, even by their standards. (Speaking of which, that blood orange thrown at Sansa’s dress foreshadows another “blotchy red stain.”)