Game of Owns: DRACARYS

Episode 250 – DRACARYS
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Two hundred and fifty episodes later, Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark are to be wed. All of these episodes later, Daenerys sets a fire in their flesh.



Discussion Topics
These chapters
People of the Plaza
Terms of the trade
Visions in the night
Blood and chaos
A final fitting
The wedding
The bedding
Owns of the Chapter
Listener Owns

Aaand for good measure, R’hllorblades:

rhllorblades

Thank you for 250!

43 responses

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    1. This Dany chapter is one that gets you really fired up on reading it. Though I don’t know if this is just from a re-read of the chapter itself, or a lingering effect of A Dance With Dragons, but the cartoonish stupidity of most of the villains she encounters in this particular portion of Essos kind of kills some of the entertainment value.

      Hoo boy, regarding the comments on Tyrion and Sansa potentially having sex. That would be 100% “forced”, had it happened. Sansa was clearly not “willing”. She is incapable of consenting under those circumstances, as she is a prisoner who has just been told that if she refuses to cooperate she will be beaten into compliance.

      More generally, this particular Sansa chapter is a major nexus for one of GRRM’s major themes, and one that quite a large part of the readership/audience for the show consistently refuses to recognize: that these characters who we sympathize with are often not on the same side, and that people we sympathize with can be in the wrong. People like Tyrion, so they refuse to see that he is participating in Sansa’s organized rape, and any comments aimed at how Sansa should kneel, Sansa should be more sympathetic or grateful, etc., are stating that she should be more cooperative in her own rape. Because that’s what this is, as GRRM shows us. Moreover, for all the talk of readers supposed not feeling Sansa’s dread because they know who Tyrion is, Tyrion was intending to rape her until the last minute.

      Tyrion and Sansa aren’t on the same side. Tyrion feels no particular malice toward the Starks, but that cannot be confused, as so many people do, with being their ally. He’s the Lannister minister of finance. Those armies ravaging Sansa’s brother’s kingdom at this point in the story? Tyrion is the one who makes sure that they get their paycheques.

      Is all this to say that I hate Tyrion? No, obviously not. He’s a fascinating character, and he’s shown himself capable of many good and noble acts (some of them within this chapter). But that doesn’t mean he automatically earns the allegiance and affection of other characters in the story who have every reason to be wary of him, as Sansa does, because their interests do not align in any truly meaningful way. If she were to learn to love him, bear his children, etc., all the things that Tyrion’s fans believe she should do, all that does is further Lord Tywin’s agenda of annexing her family’s lands and completing the destruction of her House. To say that Sansa should do that is to root for her to develop Stockholm Syndrome.

      All of this is, incidentally, one of the most prominent aspects of the books that the show simply refuses to engage with. They don’t like conflict between major characters who are “good” (and they especially don’t like Tyrion being anything other than a hero), so Sansa’s arc in King’s Landing gets gutted, her moments of defiance taken away, and the story reduced to her learning to appreciate how wonderful Tyrion is.

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    2. IT’S NOT ROLLER! @$#&!

      Sean C.,

      I agree that Sansa clearly is a victim in this chapter. She is not granted real agency, and any ‘willingness’ was purely a result of her thinking that there was no alternative, that she had to give in to an inevitable expectation of society. In a way, it once again shows that Sansa’s evolution is complex, as the acts of protest she does clearly exhibit (not kneeling) contrast to a resignation in some other situations. To me it once more shows George’s insight in how deep certain forms of repression are inculcated in societies (past and present).
      However, the very real symbolic and emotional rape of Sansa does not dispel the emotional depth of this chapter for Tyrion. It’s very important to remember the story of Tysha in this case: Tyrion does have regret for his active role as a perpetrator. This is a VERY important theme throughout his story arc. I think Tyrion’s musings about Tysha start to become more frequent with this marriage to Sansa, he does feel guilty about what he did to Sansa too. And he does attempt to say ‘no’ to some of the rape Sansa goes through, such as the bedding. I do think Tyrion’s motives in this chapter are not angelic, he remains a grey character. There is definitely some selfishness, pride, and anger. It’s the complex interaction between his feeling of guilt, his being guilty, the mockery, his wanting to do good, his desire of love, his anger, that fuel his emotional instability.
      It’s torture for both of them, really. Obviously to a larger extent for Sansa, but for Tyrion too. That is why the cloaking scene is so heartwrenching and famous: it’s arguably the first act of agency for Sansa, and we should cheer it, but we can’t.

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    3. Sean C.:
      This Dany chapter is one that gets you really fired up on reading it.Though I don’t know if this is just from a re-read of the chapter itself, or a lingering effect of A Dance With Dragons, but the cartoonish stupidity of most of the villains she encounters in this particular portion of Essos kind of kills some of the entertainment value.

      Hoo boy, regarding the comments on Tyrion and Sansa potentially having sex.That would be 100% “forced”, had it happened.Sansa was clearly not “willing”.She is incapable of consenting under those circumstances, as she is a prisoner who has just been told that if she refuses to cooperate she will be beaten into compliance.

      More generally, this particular Sansa chapter is a major nexus for one of GRRM’s major themes, and one that quite a large part of the readership/audience for the show consistently refuses to recognize:that these characters who we sympathize with are often not on the same side, and that people we sympathize with can be in the wrong.People like Tyrion, so they refuse to see that he is participating in Sansa’s organized rape, and any comments aimed at how Sansa should kneel, Sansa should be more sympathetic or grateful, etc., are stating that she should be more cooperative in her own rape.Because that’s what this is, as GRRM shows us.Moreover, for all the talk of readers supposed not feeling Sansa’s dread because they know who Tyrion is, Tyrion was intending to rape her until the last minute.

      Tyrion and Sansa aren’t on the same side.Tyrion feels no particular malice toward the Starks, but that cannot be confused, as so many people do, with being their ally.He’s the Lannister minister of finance.Those armies ravaging Sansa’s brother’s kingdom at this point in the story?Tyrion is the one who makes sure that they get their paycheques.

      Is all this to say that I hate Tyrion?No, obviously not.He’s a fascinating character, and he’s shown himself capable of many good and noble acts (some of them within this chapter).But that doesn’t mean he automatically earns the allegiance and affection of other characters in the story who have every reason to be wary of him, as Sansa does, because their interests do not align in any truly meaningful way.If she were to learn to love him, bear his children, etc., all the things that Tyrion’s fans believe she should do, all that does is further Lord Tywin’s agenda of annexing her family’s lands and completing the destruction of her House.To say that Sansa should do that is to root for her to develop Stockholm Syndrome.

      All of this is, incidentally, one of the most prominent aspects of the books that the show simply refuses to engage with.They don’t like conflict between major characters who are “good” (and they especially don’t like Tyrion being anything other than a hero), so Sansa’s arc in King’s Landing gets gutted, her moments of defiance taken away, and the story reduced to her learning to appreciate how wonderful Tyrion is.

      I agree with everything you said.

      I find it strange that Sansa is criticized or called “superficial” for not being grateful for her forced marriage into the family of her enemies. And yeah, she wasn’t remotely willing to have sex with Tyrion, and he and everyone knew that she was being coerced into the whole thing, which is particularly obvious in the book, where she even tried to escape before Cersei threatened her with being literally dragged kicking and screaming to the sept by the two armed knights of the Kingsguard (one of whom, Meryn Trant, had been beating her brutally before on Joffrey’s orders).

      Sansa does not feel disdain for Tyrion. She even prayed for him during the Blackwater battle (in addition to her family and Winterfell household, as well as Dontos and the Hound), she knows that Tyrion is not as bad as the rest of the Lannisters, and she recognizes: “You were kind to me. I remember”, which is one of the reasons she refuses the other (about equally as bad) alternative, marrying Lancel (which Tyrion thought she may prefer because Lancel is younger and good-looking). She just doesn’t want to marry Tyrion and/or have sex with him, and why should she? She’s not attracted to him at all, she’s not even 13 yet, and she doesn’t want to marry any of the Lannisters, for obvious reasons.

      Criticizing Sansa for not feeling more grateful to Tyrion is indeed criticizing her for not developing Stockholm Syndrome. What exactly is she supposed to do out of “gratitude”? Agree to lose her virginity to him just to make him feel better? She could have not said anything, but I’d say she showed him respect by being honest and straightforward. For all the pity for Tyrion over his last line, it’s also a reminder that Tyrion has far more freedom to choose who he is going to have sex with. If he decided to go through with it and rape Sansa, she could do nothing about it; and he knows he can still have sex with other women, but she, if she stays in KL married to him, is not ever in her life going to be given an opportunity to have sex with other men of her own choosing.

      Also, fans tend to idealize Tyrion. He may be a better person than most people in Westeros give him credit for, but I certainly would not say that he’s not trying to use Sansa. He is supporting his family’s interests (and will continue to do so until they fully turn against him), and we know from Tyrion’s last POV chapter that he is tempted by the prospect of getting Winterfell through Sansa. I don’t see how knowing what is going on in Tyrion’s head should make Sansa enjoy being married to him. Their interests don’t align: Sansa does not want to live in King’s Landing as one of the Lannisters and hope for Tyrion’s protection – she wants to get away from them. That’s something Tyrion hasn’t shown any intention of helping her with, and it’s unlikely that he would approve of Sansa escaping.

      As for boners looking good, I imagine they don’t when you’re 12, married against your will and facing the immediate prospect of marital rape.

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    4. Oh, Tyrion, such a swell guy for not forcing Sansa to consummate their marriage, such a swell guy, “really big of him”, such an honorable dude.
      The Sansa section of this podcast was vaguely disturbing to listen to.

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    5. Dany:

      I <3 this Dany chapter. People who spend a lot of time thinking about how dumb the slavers are or how servants are the same as slaves (they aren't – see all of history) are just over thinking it IMO. GRRM wants Dany to fuck over these evil bastards, melt some faces, and free some people – it's not really much more complicated than that.

      Kate I really liked your comment that Dany might be struggling with this decision not just because there's a risk of losing Drogon, but because she is taking on a pretty big moral responsibility by essentially starting a battle/war. I never thought of it that way but it's probably true. Although I appreciate what GRRM does here to keep us from understanding what's happening, it would have been nice to hear some of that from her. Generally GRRM seems to obfuscate what Dany does to give us a big OOMF but I think it does sometimes result in it seeming like Dany isn't thinking ahead at all.

      Sansa.

      I think it's bizarre that you criticize Sansa for not trusting Tyrion right after you criticized her constantly in her last two chapters for being TOO trusting of the Tyrells, Cersei, etc! Consistency guys (especially Kate!!!). Did you miss the part where Sansa actually does say she would prefer to marry Tyrion rather than Lancel (which Tyrion being his super insecure self immediately misinterprets)?

      Yes. We know Tyrion is… sort of an ok guy I guess. At least better than Joffery Tywin or Cersei. But Sansa is supposed to be grateful that she gets to marry a dude who has fought against her family and is complicit in several moves against her family? Indeed if it hadn't been for Tyrion then Stannis would have won at BW and Sansa would probably have been ransomed to Robb and Catelyn.

      Sansa not kneeling was a badass moment. She was showing her true fangs there, snarling and defying fate to the best of her ability. Ned, Catelyn, and even ARYA would have been proud. Absolutely my own for this chapter was her not kneeling.

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    6. As for the Sansa POV. It’s easy to forget that she is 12-13 and that she is literally trapped in a nightmare version of her own dreams. She is the young beauty of her fantasies, but from the moment Nymeria bites Joffery everything goes downhill for her. Her illusions of how everything is supposed to be is being obliterated one foolish fantasy at the time.

      If you recall the last 2 and a half books, it is very clear that Sansa has suffered through a lot. Yes, other people would have gotten rid of their delusions much earlier, but that is what’s interesting and fascinating about Sansa. The moment she refuses to kneel for Tyrion is her first attempt at making her own dreams come through herself, instead of just expecting them to be delivered (as they are supposed to).

      It is one of the first times she takes actual responsibility for her life, and makes her (childish) dream come through! This will eventually lead her to Darth Sansa later on in the story (by snowball effect).

      PS: The reader’s feelings for Tyrion is not relevant for Sansa. As simple as that! There are no arguments that speaks in favour of Sansa being nice to Tyrion, just because he’s not the worst one in Kings Landing. Arranged marriage is still arranged marriage, even in the ASOIAF universe.

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    7. These are all good comments! Sorry for any disturbance caused to any of you. Here’s where I stand on it:

      Sansa is a prisoner, and she’s been through a ton of shit. She’s also someone who has been, her whole life, prepared to marry a lord and have lordly babies. l believe that she was always prepared for an arranged marriage, as her mother’s marriage was, as Cersei’s marriage was, as Margaery’s was, and as practically every other lordly lady’s marriage is in this fictional universe. Applying our personal morals to the situation isn’t necessarily the way to go; the relative morals of this particular universe are skewed much farther into the realm of “truly fucking disturbing” than I’m used to in my personal day-to-day.

      Arranged marriages are still a thing in the world we live in, and in my opinion they’re often gross and weird, but those are my morals applied to someone else’s culture.

      Do I believe this chapter involved Sansa’s unwilling rape? No. She was trying to make the best of a very bad situation, she was terrified, but she was determined to do her duty — as she knows a lady is expected to. Is that awful? Is she 13 and therefore does that make it gross? Yes and yes. Again, when Tyrion asks her if she’s even old enough, she defends her age and says she’s a woman flowered. She’s asserting that she IS indeed ready, because she’s willing to bury her disgust and do what she has to. This is what women do in this fiction.

      Is it fucked up? Yeah. But relative to this universe, it seems like a pretty realistic view of what women have to go through — and compared to some of the actual monsters Sansa has encountered, Tyrion seems a blessing.

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    8. Kate:
      Sansa is a prisoner, and she’s been through a ton of shit. She’s also someone who has been, her whole life, prepared to marry a lord and have lordly babies. l believe that she was always prepared for an arranged marriage, as her mother’s marriage was, as Cersei’s marriage was, as Margaery’s was, and as practically every other lordly lady’s marriage is in this fictional universe. Applying our personal morals to the situation isn’t necessarily the way to go; the relative morals of this particular universe are skewed much farther into the realm of “truly fucking disturbing” than I’m used to in my personal day-to-day.

      Arranged marriages are still a thing in the world we live in, and in my opinion they’re often gross and weird, but those are my morals applied to someone else’s culture.

      Arranged marriage and forced marriage are not the same thing. For reference, see Maester Luwin’s comments on the marriage of Lady Hornwood, which is the equivalent to Sansa’s situation. She has been abducted by force by her enemies and forced to marry at swordpoint. That’s not remotely like her family making betrothal arrangements for her — not that arranged marriage can’t often be problematic as well (as Sansa’s initial betrothal ends up being), but comparing (for instance) Ned marrying Catelyn to Sansa marrying Tyrion just doesn’t hold up at all.

      Do I believe this chapter involved Sansa’s unwilling rape? No. She was trying to make the best of a very bad situation, she was terrified, but she was determined to do her duty — as she knows a lady is expected to.

      No, Sansa refused to marry Tyrion. She was explicitly told (not that this was really necessary) that her refusal did not matter and that if she continued to be obstructive she would be beaten into compliance. She did not consent. That makes everything that happens after rape. From that point on, Sansa is simply doing whatever she has to to not get beaten.

      Sansa doesn’t feel any sort of wifely responsibility to Tyrion, at any point in the story. If she did, she wouldn’t be earnestly trying to escape King’s Landing.

      If a group of thugs abduct a teenaged girl (killing her father in the process) and hold her in their house for months, subjecting her to physical and psychological abuse, and then she’s told that she will have to marry one of them (the nice one, who didn’t beat her and offered her a stick of gum), which she refuses, only to be told that if she doesn’t she will be beaten again until she does, would anybody think that was consensual? Yet when you dress it up in medieval pageantry an alarming number of people think otherwise.

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    9. Yup, going to agree that it is not the same as arranged marriage. Later on in the chapters, you’ll see that Catelyn and Robb are absolutely not okay with the wedding and it angers them a lot. Even the example of Joffrey claiming to be her “father” since her father is dead, and he has the right to make marriage arrangements for her is the cruel mockery of the situation.

      Even more, in arranged marriages, often both of the families involved are getting something in return or make peace: in this situation neither Sansa nor her family gets absolutely nothing; in fact it is an attempt to steal her family’s inheritance from them, and install a Lannister child as the heir of Winterfell. It is absolutely horrible.

      But the fact that Sansa is being kept there against her will, abused at every turn possible, threatened just before she is escorted to the Sept make it clear that she has no choice and is trying to make the best of her situation. I applaud her for still showing defiance and making it clear to Tyrion that this is not something she will ever want, even if it hurts him. It is absolutely not childish, nor shallow either.

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    10. Sansa does refuse. Then she accedes.

      It had been the Imp who saved her from a beating that day, the same man who was waiting for her now. He is not so bad as the rest of them, she told herself. “I’ll go.”

      I’m not saying this is okay. It’s fucking awful. But she doesn’t go kicking and screaming to the sept, either.

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    11. Grynthaline,

      Sean C.,

      Yes, and yes.

      I don’t know why this is so often missed (I think in part because Tyrion himself fudges the distinction in his POV), but Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion is not an arranged marriage; it is a forced marriage (almost literally at swordpoint).

      As you note, the Lannisters use the trappings of a typical arranged marriage to give the ceremony a shred of credibility- much the same way as

      the Boltons do with Ramsay’s marriage to F!Arya.

      While one can have a debate over the consensuality of arranged marriages and the relavance of in-universe standards for those, those issues are really not relevant to Sansa’s situation.

      Edit- I actually don’t have a problem with the show’s presentation, because in that context, Tyrion and Sansa (temporarily) reached a better relationship and were treating it more like an arranged marriage. But that doesn’t change the fact that Sansa was literally a prisoner which is not the situation of someone involved in an arranged marriage.

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    12. Kate: Sansa does refuse. Then she accedes.

      waitwaitwait

      So if someone first refuses to have sex but then says “…OK” in order to avoid being beaten up by large men carrying swords then she is actually a willing participant? Kate you are awesome but think about it for two seconds!!!

      I salute each of Sansa’s two refusals of Tyrion (first the not kneeling, later the “what if I never want you”) because they are literally the only opposition she can give to being sold and raped. She refuses to allow anyone believe that she is a willing participant. This is not some personal slight against Tyrion – by acting this way Sansa makes it abundantly clear to anyone witnessing that this wedding is forced and probably illegal.

      I do want to add that I totally understand everything you are saying about Tyrion, though! It totally SUCKS ASS for him. He is being humiliated, not by Sansa, really, but by the whole situation of marrying an unwilling prisoner out of loyalty (?) to his family. If Lancel had been there in his place the same things would happen, except he might have gone ahead and raped her. So, I am in fact grateful for Tyrion having moral qualms and being a halfway decent person. And, I fully empathize with how shitty this situation is for him – it’s also completely impossible for Sansa, though.

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    13. Nowhere did I say she’s a willing participant! I think she was willing to do what she perceived as her duty. This is all a result of not only the brainwashing situation she’s in as a prisoner, but also what she’s been raised to believe. She is absolutely being forced to marry someone. What I am saying is that it doesn’t sound uncommon in this fictional universe, and I am choosing not to apply my own morals to the situation. (I’m not even pro-marriage, to say nothing of arranged marriage.)

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    14. OK I think I get what you are saying now. I agree that Sansa has resolved herself to endure what the marriage entails once it’s happened. There’s a really sneaky line between willing and accepting, though.

      But… I still don’t see a problem with what she did (not kneeling, and telling Tyrion the truth – that she is totally an unwilling participant). These are the only things Sansa could do to demonstrate that she was not okay with the situation.

      Oh! I also want to add that I think the reason I support Sansa so much in this is exactly something that you guys brought up – the parallels to Dany’s forced marraige to Kahl Drogo. In general, I see in Sansa very much of what Dany once was. Dany is further along in her journey (to say the least) but there is a badass inside Sansa just waiting for its “Dracarys” moment… These little acts of defiance are the seeds of her transformation.

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    15. You are right about the kneeling, I can see that. It is easy for me to be exceedingly pro-Tyrion, knowing that he’s been her advocate and protector, for as little as it has mattered in the long run (as Sean C and others have pointed out, being a single point of light in a gang of jerks isn’t necessarily a beacon of hope). But Sansa showing her last shreds of dignity in that way is admirable. Sorry, Eric. I retract my criticism of ownage.

      It seems this whole chapter (and my read on it) is pretty controversial and divisive. I appreciate that so many of you have debated this with me in a respectful way. Doing good internet here.

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    16. Kate:
      Sansa does refuse. Then she accedes.

      I’m not saying this is okay. It’s fucking awful. But she doesn’t go kicking and screaming to the sept, either.

      She doesn’t go kicking and screaming because she has already been told that this will make no difference – Cersei makes that very clear: “You may come along quietly and say your vows as befits a lady, or you may struggle and scream and make a spectacle for the stableboys to titter over, but you will end up wedded and bedded all the same.” In other words, already at the start of the chapter, Cersei tells her: “You will be raped no matter what”, and that’s what Sansa expects to happen throughout the ceremony and in the bedroom, right until Tyrion tells her he won’t touch her before she wants him to. The only choice she thinks she has until that point is whether to obey and make it a bit easier for herself, or go kicking and screaming and get beaten and raped nevertheless, probably more brutally. She also has reasons to fear getting additionally raped by Joffrey (who gropes her in front of everyone and then later threatens her with rape*) if Tywin, Cersei and Tyrion decide not to reign him in/protect her.

      There’s no indication at any point that Sansa thinks that she has a duty to have sex with Tyrion – Tyrion is the one who talks about doing “our duty”, in the sept and in the bedroom. He may be genuinely feeling that he has a duty to his family, since the marriage is advantageous to the Lannisters, but Sansa has no reasons to feel the same. The moment she realizes she has a choice, she looks at him and does consider whether she could or couldn’t find something attractive about him, per Septa Mordane’s teachings – but at this point, she thinks she’s likely going to be stuck in King’s Landing married to this man, possibly for the rest of her life, so that’s not really a sign of a dutiful feeling – and she says no.

      I think we should realize that lack of consent does not necessarily manifest itself in kicking, screaming and physically fighting off, especially in the case of captives, hostages or slaves, or anyone else who’s threatened by physical harm in case they refuse. It’s ironic that this chapter comes right after the one where Dany frees slaves, since Sansa’s situation as a captive of the Lannister’s is not really that different from that of a slave. I’m sure that there are many of them whose masters are “nice” and don’t beat them or abuse them too much, but they still don’t have any freedom or agency, and nobody is asking for their consent.

      * Speaking of Joffrey, I loved the fact that Sansa defied him twice in this chapter, when he claimed to be her “father”, to which she replied he wasn’t and never will be, and when she retorted “No, he wont!” when Joffrey claimed Tyrion would bring her to his bed. It’s disappointing that the TV show removed even those moments from the wedding scenes.

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    17. Kate:
      Nowhere did I say she’s a willing participant! I think she was willing to do what she perceived as her duty. This is all a result of not only the brainwashing situation she’s in as a prisoner, but also what she’s been raised to believe. She is absolutely being forced to marry someone. What I am saying is that it doesn’t sound uncommon in this fictional universe, and I am choosing not to apply my own morals to the situation. (I’m not even pro-marriage, to say nothing of arranged marriage.)

      You can’t separate those two things. Sansa is not a willing participant, ergo she does not want to have sex with Tyrion, and she does not perceive having sex with him as her duty, in the sense of something she herself feels a responsibility for (at no point does she say anything that suggests that). It’s her “duty” in the sense that other people expect it and if she doesn’t she’ll be beaten.

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    18. Annara Snow: I think we should realize that lack of consent does not necessarily manifest itself in kicking, screaming and physically fighting off, especially in the case of captives, hostages or slaves, or anyone else who’s threatened by physical harm in case they refuse. It’s ironic that this chapter comes right after the one where Dany frees slaves, since Sansa’s situation as a captive of the Lannister’s is not really that different from that of a slave. I’m sure that there are many of them whose masters are “nice” and don’t beat them or abuse them too much, but they still don’t have any freedom or agency, and nobody is asking for their consent.

      This is interesting. I wonder what would happen if someone liberated Sansa right now, if Tyrion set her free on their wedding night… would she end up at the Red Wedding?

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    19. Sean C.,

      It sounds like we won’t see eye to eye on this in its entirety, but I want to make it clear I very much respect your position; internet can make it hard to judge tone, and I have been thinking carefully about your points. Thank you for the thoughtfulness.

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    20. Kate: It seems this whole chapter (and my read on it) is pretty controversial and divisive. I appreciate that so many of you have debated this with me in a respectful way. Doing good internet here.

      Likewise!!! Thanks for engaging.

      It’s so easy when there are two characters in conflict to pick a side / favor one point of view. I think you’ve brought out the pro-Sansa camp here… I think sometimes the pro-Sansa folks will also minimize Tyrion’s perspective. Both PoV’s are biased, but it’s really hard sometimes to remember that neither one has the complete truth.

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    21. Kate:
      It sounds like we won’t see eye to eye on this in its entirety, but I want to make it clear I very much respect your position; internet can make it hard to judge tone, and I have been thinking carefully about your points. Thank you for the thoughtfulness.

      Concerning consent, even if you accept the premise that Sansa feels she has a duty to sleep with Tyrion once they’re married, the fact that she was forced to marry him still invalidates that feeling. The marriage becomes, in a sense, simply another means to deprive her of her ability to consent, since it’s inextricably bound up in the process.

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    22. I agree, Kate. The tone of this whole conversation has, I think, been very respectful even while everyone has been strongly voicing disagreement.
      I am also with the others on Sansa’s kneeling. That moment is Sansa’s “fuck you” to the Lannisters. She is wearing her father’s colors for the first time since the Lannisters chopped off his head and his wolf on her shoulders gives her the strength in that moment to in essence say, “No, I’ll be damned before I kneel to let you take my father’s colors and effectively my family away from me again.” They could force her to marry, but they couldn’t force her to be a kneeler.

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    23. Queenofthrones: Likewise!!!Thanks for engaging.

      It’s so easy when there are two characters in conflict to pick a side / favor one point of view.I think you’ve brought out the pro-Sansa camp here…I think sometimes the pro-Sansa folks will also minimize Tyrion’s perspective.Both PoV’s are biased, but it’s really hard sometimes to remember that neither one has the complete truth.

      This happens a lot in the fandom regarding the Sansa/Tyrion marriage, even though I don’t think there is a good reason for it, since don’t think they are in genuine conflict here. The podcast itself was more focused on Tyrion’s feelings, I think, but Lollicus Pellicanus has made a great case about what this chapter means for Tyrion.

      It’s sad that this wedding becomes a new source of humiliation and feeling of rejection for Tyrion, but that’s really not Sansa’s fault; and this marriage, even though it’s worse for Sansa, would not be good for him either. He wants a wife who loves him and desires him for himself, which he’s not going to get with Sansa; and he’s not going to get Winterfell either, despite what Tywin told him – because the northmen would never accept him, and he would need an army for protection if he went North to claim it. The best he could expect would be to fulfill Tywin’s plan to prevent anyone else from claiming Winterfell, and hope that the North may accept his hypothetical children with Sansa as heirs to Winterfell. And, of course, while he finds her physically attractive, he doesn’t love her, either.

      Even after everything Tywin has done to him and the way he’s treated him, Tyrion still yearns for his father’s approval. It’s a huge thing for him to refuse to do Tywin’s bidding against what his own morals are telling him, especially, as Lollicus pointed out, there is a parallel between this situation and what was done to Tysha (although Tyrion was just 13 then, and in a situation where he seems to have had no way to refuse, so I consider him a victim of Tywin, too). Tyrion mentions Tysha in this chapter, remembering his wedding and bedding with her, and no doubt comparing the love and happiness they shared to this terrible farce that he and Sansa are a part of. He also, as one of the listeners pointed out in their own, fought his own lust, and I would add, other selfish motives (the promise of Winterfell) as well as his father’s dominance over him.

      It’s easy to see throughout the chapter that the lifetime of humiliation has made Tyrion over-sensitive to anything he perceives as rejection and humiliation. When Joffrey tells Sansa he could order her to marry anyone he chooses, even his headsman Ilyn Payne (who Sansa was always terrified of, even before he cut off Ned’s head, and before Cersei threatened to have him execute Sansa during the Blackwater battle), and she is so terrified that she goes from defiance to pleading with Joffrey: “…do not marry me to your…”, Tyrion comes at that exact moment and assumes she meant “uncle” (when she was probably going to say “headsman”). He offers Sansa to marry Lancel instead, thinking that she would rather marry Lancel because he is good-looking; Sansa is thinking to herself: “I don’t want any Lannister”, but she can’t say that aloud, so she says something to the effect that she can only marry who the king chooses.

      It’s really sad that Tyrion says: “In the dark, I’m the Knight of Flowers” – he’s basically saying “You may like being with me if you try to imagine I’m someone else”. Tyrion wants to be desired and accepted, but he is so insecure that, since his first marriage, he doesn’t ever try to hope for a relationship with a woman unless he is paying her, or – here – if she has been married to him against her will, and then he hopes to try winning her over. He wants to be loved, but looks for it in all the wrong places. We’ve seen that with Shae. Sansa does feel disgusted by his body, but considering the situation, Tyrion shouldn’t realistically be expecting her to be into him even if he were better-looking.

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    24. Interesting commentary discussion. I’m glad the pro-sansas are coming out to add a bit more width to the topic. As much as I enjoy book tyrion as a character he has a lot of issues and I don’t think he handled the whole situation as well as he could have.

      What do you guys think about the future prospect of the marriage. I always sort of shipped them as a political couple and I would like it if they stayed married at the end of the series (assuming they both survive). Sansa would have to be the one carrying that marriage though. If she decided that it was in her best interest to stay married to tyrion I think she could make it work.

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    25. Sofia:

      What do you guys think about the future prospect of the marriage. I always sort of shipped them as a political couple and I would like it if they stayed married at the end of the series (assuming they both survive). Sansa would have to be the one carrying that marriage though. If she decided that it was in her best interest to stay married to tyrion I think she could make it work.

      I don’t see that happening at all. There’s no reason why either of them would want that. They both want someone to love them for themselves, more than anything; that means they have no business staying in that marriage, and it can only make them both miserable. Sansa also hates the idea of being married to a Lannister, and the marriage brings her nothing – and only hurts her politically, since the North (or the Riverlands) would not accept her if she’s married to a Lannister.

      I could see them being political allies at some point, but they don’t need to stay married for that. And the argument that the marriage could help a future reconciliation between the Starks and the Lannisters, which I’ve seen on forums, also doesn’t work – even if such a peace is in the works any time in the near future, I don’t see anyone considering the continuation a marriage made in these circumstances a token of good will and peace between those two families, rather than a reminder of what the Lannisters did to the Starks. An amicable annulment would be the best first step on the road of possible peaceful coexistence between the Starks and the Lannisters.

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    26. Annara Snow,

      Incidentally, it’s mildly interesting how, when you look at the Tyrion/Sansa interactions, virtually all of their relationship is told from Sansa’s POV. I don’t think Sansa has a single line of dialogue in any of Tyrion’s ACOK chapters, nor any in Tyrion’s ASOS chapters to this point. There’ll be five more Tyrion chapters between this and Sansa’s departure, but the two don’t interact meaningfully in any of them.

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    27. It’s so good to see so many people here standing up for Sansa.

      It would most definitely have been a rape. The absence of violence doesn’t make it not-rape. Sansa doesn’t have the option of saying no, either to the marriage or to sex, and therefore any decision to submit quietly to minimize the damage done to her does not equal consent. And the way that Tyrion oh-so-graciously gives her a choice at the very end is… It’s as much for his own sake as hers (he wants to be able to think of himself as a good guy). It’s a tiny crumb tossed her way after she’s already been forced into a marriage into the family who killed her father, is warring against and trying to kill her brother, and has been tormenting her for months on end. Then he actually seems to feel hurt that she’s not thinking about his feelings, when hers have been trampled into the ground over and over and over again. What does he expect, that she should be so grateful for not being raped that she’d… want to have sex with him? Yeah, not seeing that.

      Also, for all that Tyrion tries to present it as if he has no more choice in this than she does, he absolutely does. He can say no, he says so himself. She can’t. He could’ve warned her this was coming. He didn’t. He can choose whether or not to have sex with her. She has no choice. He can sleep with someone else if he wants. She can’t. He’s a Lannister. She’s a Lannister hostage. He gets a shot at Winterfell out of this. She gets… nothing. There’s absolutely no equality in this, and she knows it. How can anyone expect her to be grateful for the horrible thing that’s being done to her, just because it’s not the absolutely worst thing that could’ve been done? “Oh, she’s been forcibly married off to one of her family’s enemies, and she’s about to be maritally raped, but at least she won’t get groped by a bunch of other people first, so she should be grateful!” No. Just no.

      Remember that Joffrey was kind to her, too, once, and so was Cersei. Remember that she’s not yet thirteen. Remember that her father was killed by the Lannisters right in front of her. Remember that this marriage traps her with the Lannisters for the rest of her life. Remember that she’s been their hostage for a year now, and has been abused in so many ways, and now she’s facing a future where she’s never going to get away from that.

      Gratitude? Absolutely not.

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    28. Sean C.:
      Annara Snow,

      Incidentally, it’s mildly interesting how, when you look at the Tyrion/Sansa interactions, virtually all of their relationship is told from Sansa’s POV.I don’t think Sansa has a single line of dialogue in any of Tyrion’s ACOK chapters, nor any in Tyrion’s ASOS chapters to this point.There’ll be five more Tyrion chapters between this and Sansa’s departure, but the two don’t interact meaningfully in any of them.

      That’s interesting, I didn’t think about it before. It’s probably because Sansa has learned to use courtesy to keep her real feelings hidden while she’s been a hostage in court, and Tyrion has a hard time reading her. (While, for instance, he’s usually very good at reading Cersei, which is why it’s fun to see Cersei in his POVs.) Tyrion is more open with her, and it’s easier to understand what he is thinking and feeling during their conversations without getting into his head. After book 1, we have few meaningful scenes of Sansa in anyone else’s POV.

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    29. Annara Snow,

      I’m not at all romantic so I just want Sansa to give up marrying for love and instead go for the power. I can’t think of any plot reason why they would benefit from being married but I just like the thought if them as a team. I think with his intelligence and her charm they could go far.

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    30. Sofia:
      Annara Snow,

      I’m not at all romantic so I just want Sansa to give up marrying for love and instead go for the power. I can’t think of any plot reason why they would benefit from being married but I just like the thought if them as a team. I think with his intelligence and her charm they could go far.

      I would prefer for Sansa to use her own intelligence, instead of having to have sex with a man so he would think for her.

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    31. Annara Snow: I would prefer for Sansa to use her own intelligence, instead of having to have sex with a man so he would think for her.

      Oh cmon now that’s pretty unfair and not what she was implying. The idea of a political match here isn’t “dude gets sex lady gets power” – it’s “both sides get more power.” It’s like why people propose matches like Dany x stannis – no one thinks its gonna be for love…

      Although I like the idea of sansa as a “queen Elizabeth of the north” type, a companionate political marraige where sex is really not the purpose for either side isn’t a bad option.

      I dunno about Tyrion in particular though – after dance I’m not sure he’s going to be able to have a healthy relationship – even a companianate one – with any woman, which is quite sad for him.

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    32. Well, if you are not going to be sympathetic to Sansa for this horrible thing happening to her because is something she’s been teached to accept as a lady, then why get upset that Tyrion is despise and seen as a monster, after all, these sentiments are understandable from a medieval like setting perspective, or how about all those cheers for Arya for defying what is natural for a woman in this old timey land, (these are just examples of contradiction, I actually do feel for Tyrion and Arya a great deal and I don´t thing they should surrender).

      But I think we should be sincere here and say that the problem is good old bias for our favorite characters, and I should say everybody at some point is guilty of this, but a little perspective is needed when looking at the actions of all the characters because if you start to glorify or vilify any of them, your analysis of the world as a whole becomes flat and uninteresting, and that is a shame, because this universe indeed in many ways trys to be realistic, and that is, in my opinion one of the great thing about it.

      PS: sorry for the grammatical errors, english is not my first language.

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    33. Queenofthrones: Oh cmon now that’s pretty unfair and not what she was implying.The idea of a political match here isn’t “dude gets sex lady gets power” – it’s “both sides get more power.”It’s like why people propose matches like Dany x stannis – no one thinks its gonna be for love…

      Although I like the idea of sansa as a “queen Elizabeth of the north” type, a companionate political marraige where sex is really not the purpose for either side isn’t a bad option.

      I dunno about Tyrion in particular though – after dance I’m not sure he’s going to be able to have a healthy relationship – even a companianate one – with any woman, which is quite sad for him.

      I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way, but that’s the ultimate implication of the concept of “woman provides charm/beauty, dude provides the smarts, and they must be married for the partnership to work (even if she doesn’t otherwise want to sleep with him)”, when you get down to it. If she needs his intelligence as a prerequsite to get more power, while she only contributes charm, that implies she is not intelligent enough herself.

      I don’t see why she has to be married to anyone if they are just going to be political allies, with no sex or couple behavior or children involved. That wouldn’t even be a real marriage, and it’s not like she wants to be “Lady Lannister”.

      Jon and Stannis

      have been doing pretty well as allies without tying the knot…;)

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    34. Considering Sansa’s previous experience with niceness in the Lannisters, in that it is followed by abuse or some other horribly cruel act eventually, it only makes sense that she makes the only defiance she can while she is still a Stark. Sansa’s experience with Tyrion up to this point is as a helicopter protector who stops things when he sees, but that seems like a rare occurrence; she won’t get his drunken and consistent defense of her until afterwards. So, in this moment it seems like that kindness is finally being repaid with a forced marriage to balance the “Lannister Scales” for Tyrion, showing he is actually at least somewhat bad. She’s about to join that horrendous family, lose her family name and worse; so she Starks up and tells them to fuck off the only way she can, by refusing to kneel. She has done that quite enough since her father died. It sucks for Tyrion that he gets embarrassed by this, but he is on the side of his family and shouldn’t really be surprised by defiance from a prisoner. And, to her infinite credit, she comes around to feeling bad for making things bad for getting Tyrion in the crossfire for her defiance, but I think she would be justified in writing him off then and there. So, I too give my Own to Sansa for digging deep and pulling out her Inner Stark when it mattered, hurt feelings aside.

      Though I only came to feel this way in retrospect when I could think back on the series. I was rushing through so quickly that it took a long while for my initial perspectives on characters not named Jaime Lannisters or The on Greyjoy to change. In retrospect Sans a became the dark horse character at the end of the first book and his been an underrated, and quietly awesome characters since then.

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    35. Annara Snow: . If she needs his intelligence as a prerequsite to get more power, while she only contributes charm, that implies she is not intelligent enough herself.

      Not exactly, a combination of Sansa’s political intelligence (aka charm) plus Tyrion’s creative intelligence (let’s say his “low cunning” as Tywin put it) is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

      Annara Snow: I don’t see why she has to be married to anyone if they are just going to be political allies, with no sex or couple behavior or children involved. That wouldn’t even be a real marriage, and it’s not like she wants to be “Lady Lannister”.

      Well I assume they would have sex enough times to produce heirs – what I meant is that the sex is not something either “gets” out of the marriage – it is it’s just to make the babies. Lots of people do this IRL – they are married to someone they aren’t sexually compatible with, but they stay together for the kids and other benefits of marriage. I imagine it was probably more common than not when arranged marriage was the rule. They could even have lovers on the side given the ubiquity of birth control in Westeros. Since Marriage is a life-long bond it is more permanent than any mere alliance, and would be seen as such from the outside.

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    36. Queenofthrones: Not exactly,a combination of Sansa’s political intelligence (aka charm) plus Tyrion’s creative intelligence (let’s say his “low cunning” as Tywin put it) is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

      Well I assume they would have sex enough times to produce heirs – what I meant is that the sex is not something either “gets” out of the marriage – it is it’s just to make the babies.Lots of people do this IRL – they are married to someone they aren’t sexually compatible with, but they stay together for the kids and other benefits of marriage.I imagine it was probably more common than not when arranged marriage was the rule.They could even have lovers on the side given the ubiquity of birth control in Westeros. Since Marriage is a life-long bond it is more permanent than any mere alliance, and would be seen as such from the outside.

      I still don’t see what advantages would there be for Sansa in such a marriage to Tyrion. Unless she is supposed to be in such a need of his creative intelligence that she decides she must have him as a political partner, and he conditions this on her being married to him (which I really don’t see him doing), and she decides that she has to be married to a Lannister (and therefore become very unpopular in the North) and have children with the last name “Lannister” and have sex with him to produce them, and decides this is small sacrifice to get his creative intelligence on his side, and she is also at that point at Shae’s level of being able to convince him that she really wants him and is enjoying it a lot…

      Nope, I’m not seeing that.

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    37. Who says she had to convince him that she really wants him? That’s the opposite of what I’ve been saying this whole time. You seem stubbornly attached to the idea that the only thing A man would ever want in a partner is pretty face who says she loves him. sansa is more than that and many men understand the benefits of having a savvy partner.

      Neither of them would be in it for the romance. I can’t say what the political advantage would be yet because I can’t see the future.

      Edit; also I’m quite sure any son of theirs would take the stark name if he would be the only male in the line and they are at WF. This happens all the time when a great lineage goes through the female line which invarably happens.

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    38. Queenofthrones:
      Who says she had to convince him that she really wants him?That’s the opposite of what I’ve been saying this whole time.You seem stubbornly attached to the idea that the only thing A man would ever want in a partner ispretty face who says she loves him.sansa is more than that and many men understand the benefits of having a savvy partner.

      Neither of them would be in it for the romance. I can’t say what the political advantage would be yet because I can’t see the future.

      Edit;also I’m quite sure any son of theirs would take the stark name if he would be the only male in the line and they are at WF.This happens all the time when a great lineage goes through the female line which invarably happens.

      I’m not talking about “any man”. I’m talking about Tyrion. I’m stubbornly attached to the idea that Tyrion would want a woman who really wants him because Tyrion is like that. That’s how GRRM portrays him. And from the way he portrays Sansa, she wants someone who would love her for herself, and isn’t drawn to the idea of a political marriage at all – or rather, at this point she doesn’t like the idea of marriage at all, after realizing the reality of political marriages. What you’re suggesting is at odds with the characterization of both these characters, and the idea that Sansa – even if she were into political marriages – would find some political advantage in a marriage to a Lannister is extremely unlikely. Even if there were to be political allies, you don’t need to get married for that. The purpose of marriage is to have sex and conceive children, unless it’s just about getting someone’s claim/position of a consort, and even if Tyrion were still to have dreams of Winterfell, Sansa is not going to be interested in Casterly Rock. If Sansa wants a child called Stark who will inherit Winterfell, there’s lots of dudes she could marry to do so. You haven’t provided a single reason why those two would want to be husband and wife.

      “I can’t say what the political advantage would be yet because I can’t see the future.”

      In other words, you haven’t been answering the question “Do you see Sansa and Tyrion remaining married and deciding to be together?” but starting from the premise that they must do that, one way or another, and trying to come up with any possible reason why that could happen. That’s doing it backwards. I’m sure that, if you try really hard and do a bit of mental gymnastics, you could come up with reasons why any two people in the series may want to marry each other, especially if you base it on the hypothesis that their personalities and what drives them will change drastically in the future, and that the political landscape will change drastically as well.

      Let’s ask the right question: why are we even discussing whether Sansa and Tyrion could end up together? Did anyone even think of them as a potential couple before Tywin told Tyrion he was to marry Sansa? I doubt it. It seems to me that the only reason anyone is considering them as a couple is the forced mockery of a marriage that Tywin Lannister devised as a part of his campaign against the Starks, and which was a complete disaster and source of misery for both of them. That’s a really bizarre reason, I would say.

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    39. ASOS is my favourite one, too. After slowly building it all up, it starts seriously picking up the pace around chapter 30, and then the crazy ride never stops.

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