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.
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.
But in an interesting way! I’ve always liked Sansa’s chapters — whether or not I like her as a “person” (remember, she is a fictional character, people!) being beside the point — because I enjoy reading about the events we see through her eyes (court intrigue, anything involving Petyr Baelish). But in this chapter, it’s Sansa’s actual stream of consciousness that is so creepily entertaining: her detached response to the death of Ser Hugh, her (and Septa Mordane’s!) scorn toward Jeyne’s much more appropriate reaction, her rationalization of Joffrey’s past and present behavior (and compartmentalization of Lady’s death as “the awful thing”).
Elsewhere in this chapter:
- Loras’ first in-person appearance: he’s the cutest guy Sansa’s ever seen (wasn’t Renly that, also?) with “lazy” (?) brown curls and “liquid gold” eyes. The description of his tourney self-marketing activities is great.
- Eddard isn’t around to see what a drunken, sexist (even if Cersei deserves it) lout his “friend” Robert actually is.
- First detailed description of Sandor: gaunt, with heavy brows, a large hooked nose, thin dark hair combed over, and the now precisely described scars. And he gets the only real emotional response out of Sociopathic Sansa.
“You’d think the royal sigil would be sufficient, but no. He makes his mother’s house equal in honor to the King’s.”
“The woman is important too!” Arya protested.
Good for her, even if the woman she’s defending (Cersei) is less than admirable.
A few pages later, just so we don’t forget the institutional sexism Arya is doomed to struggle against:
“Are you training women here?”
BTW, Sandor says this while trying to convince Ser Rodrik to let Joffrey and Robb fight with real swords. Does Sandor want Joffrey dead, wounded, or at least put in his place?
(Another of Sandor’s pro-real swords arguments: “I killed a man at twelve.” Arya will, of course, beat that record.)