Aidan Gillen discusses Littlefinger’s need for “atonement” and Natalie Dormer brainstorms hypothetical cell mates for Margaery

Baelish
Aidan Gillen talks about Littlefinger’s state of mind in Game of Thrones season 6 and shares his personal thoughts on the character and Natalie Dormer lists Margaery’s ideal and worse case scenario cellmates.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gillen discussed Petyr Baelish’s penitence for underestimating Ramsay Bolton last season

“For me, this time out, there’s a level of atonement in relation to Sansa and my misjudgment of Ramsay Bolton,” Gillen said. “A lot of what I’m up to is atonement and really trying to align myself the right people … I left Sansa married to a psychopath. It’s probably the one time we’ve seen Littlefinger slip up. He really didn’t know about him. He should have.”

Gillen addressed fans’ skepticism that the seemingly omniscient Baelish didn’t know what kind of man he was marrying Sansa to.

“[I]n the world of our story everyone does not know [about Ramsay’s behavior]. A lot happens behind closed doors, or closed gates,” he said. “I know it seems unlikely Petyr Baelish, who knows everything, would be unaware of his reputation and the depths of his cruelty. In a way, this shows a new side of him, a faltering, and I do want to make amends.”

Gillen said that, though it’s not always reflected in the script, he believes Baelish feels a “paternal warmth” for Sansa.

“I like Sansa, you know? So I’m trying to find something humane and gentle and maybe even warm in the midst of my treachery and calculation – which is pathological … But you can only do what’s on the page.”

In a short video for Entertainment Weekly, Natalie Dormer talked about which cell mates would most improve or worsen Margaery’s present situation. Sharing a dungeon with her brother would be ideal “to keep each other company” but she imagines being locked up with Joffrey’s ghost would make for the worst prison experience possible.

194 responses

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    1. Cheshire Cat

      Can’t wait to see Littlefinger on Sunday!! He plays my most favorite person I want to hate on GoT’s, meaning I love his evil ways.

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    2. Hmm. That’s definitely a different take on Littlefinger than I viewed him having. I’m not sure I’m buying it.

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    3. That’s disappointing. But I guess they’ve got a bigger reason for keeping Littlefinger in the dark about Ramsey.

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    4. I knew it. He was obviously unaware of Ramsay’s true inclinations in those episodes. He’s not Varys the spymaster, after all.

      House Bolton having a generally “dark” reputation (most of which dates back to their ancestors) is another thing from the heir being a sadist rapist. Which he hid very well during their courtship.

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    5. So I guess the scene depicted at the top of this post is of him meeting Sansa and Brienne near the Wall?

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    6. Baelish “paternal” towards Sansa? That’s a very novel interpretation me thinks. Most people I thought see him as a creepy older man who has, (maybe only partially) transferred his obsession from mother to daughter. And still massively determined to be “king of the ashes” if that is what it would come to.

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    7. Sword of the Morning:
      So I guess the scene depicted at the top of this post is of him meeting Sansa and Brienne near the Wall?

      Some time back, someone identified the background as being Winterfell. No idea what episode it’s from though, probably near the end of the season.

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    8. Sword of the Morning:
      So I guess the scene depicted at the top of this post is of him meeting Sansa and Brienne near the Wall?

      No, that scene is LF at the Godswood of Winterfell – and the person he’s meeting is mysterious… well, at least for some 😉

      Besides, I always liked LF – one of my favourite characters in the show. And I’m convinced that in the end he is always promoting the good; he’s got only two loyalties – his own power / wealth, and the well-being of Catelyn (and after that, Sansa) Stark. And because of this sentimental love of his, he’s always ending up on the right side.

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    9. The more the writers try to dig themselves out of the hole of Littlefinger not knowing about Ramsay….

      Actually I’m willing to handwave that, he’s not omniscient, but they avoid answering the main question, always avoid it: how and why did they decide to merge Sansa and Jeyne’s storylines in the first place?

      The few times Cogman talked about it the question was deflected to talk about how the scene was shot, not the overall affect on Sansa’s character arc.

      the only the we ever really heard was a vague and brief statement that “we didn’t want the actress to sit out the show for a year”

      ….which IS NOT in any way an attempt at explaining how this makes sense for the character and storyline. Instead it’s just like, restating and affirming what we already suspected: “we wanted to shoehorn the actress into the season despite no logic to it”

      …..(sigh) part of me strongly suspects that Littlefinger rapes Sansa in the next book and they just can’t talk about it, that this was them condensing that. Or Harrold Hardyng.

      but after the Season 6 Dorne storyline stuff….I don’t know if anything is actually based on upcoming book material.

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    10. Green Chili: Besides, I always liked LF – one of my favourite characters in the show. And I’m convinced that in the end he is always promoting the good; he’s got only two loyalties – his own power / wealth, and the well-being of Catelyn (and after that, Sansa) Stark. And because of this sentimental love of his, he’s always ending up on the right side.

      Dude…Littlefinger doesn’t “care” about Catelyn or Sansa anymore than as possessions – he’s a *stalker*. He’s *infatuated* with his stalker-crush on Catelyn and Sansa, that’s not the same thing, and no that won’t make him “on the right side”

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    11. The Dragon Demands,

      Sansa is going to play politics in the North, rather than politics in the Vale. If her arc consists of her rallying the North to the Stark cause, which I think it will, then I would prefer the show version over the book.

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    12. Mrs. Podrick Payne:
      Baelish “paternal” towards Sansa? That’s a very novel interpretation me thinks. Most people I thought see him as a creepy older man who has, (maybe only partially) transferred his obsession from mother to daughter. And still massively determined to be “king of the ashes” if that is what it would come to.

      Those are contradicting attitudes but I think they don’t have to be mutually exclusive 🙂

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    13. The Dragon Demands,

      have you seen how many story arcs changed with sansa being in the north?
      we had briene killing stannis and she had/has a porpuse.
      we cut lady stoneheart
      we have sansa having some meaningful role in the north and didn t need to spend time knowing the important people in the vale nor with what happens there
      she has a great connection with what is happening in the north

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    14. I’ll never buy the “LF didn’t know” logic, no matter how hard D&D pushed it. Ramsay has been publically brutal, repeatedly, in ways that could not possibly hidden, from the very beginning of the show. You do not maul people to deaths with dogs without people literally hearing about it. You do not flay minor lords over tax issues without people hearing about it (indeed, them hearing about it is the point!)….and yes I know that happened one episode after Sansa’s decision, but you’d have to make a huge leap of illogic to pretend that the Bolton’s ruled for twelve episodes without doing anything like that to only start up immediately after by massive coincidence.

      Additionally, LF should have a strong spy network in the north (where he is more rooted than Varys) and been able to gather the information he needed. He would have never made such a ridiculously bold move blindly, and if for some reason his network was destroyed (by the Boltons during their purges of the commoners, indicating their cruelty), he would have rebuilt first.

      But whatever, this water is under the bridge.

      It is the Hound who is approaching him in the Godswood…the Hound who was there the moment Littlefinger betrayed Ned Stark. Oh, how the giant fill fall

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    15. I know it seems unlikely Petyr Baelish, who knows everything, would be unaware of his reputation and the depths of his cruelty.

      It would have bordered on a plot-hole if Baelish had somehow known about Ramsay, given what a good job the Boltons did of keeping him (and most everything) secret. The Starks didn’t know about him, and they knew a hell of a lot more about the North than anyone in Kings Landing would have known. And yet when Roose suggested to Robb that Ramsay take Winterfell, Robb never even worried about it. Indeed, Gillen is making a mistake that some viewers make: thinking that Ramsay had a reputation. However, poor old Theon had no idea who Ramsay even was: and that says a lot about how good Roose was at controlling information.

      Basically, unless there were people who spent a lot of time at the Dreadfort spending a lot of time in Baelish’s brothels, then Baelish would have had no way to know. Somehow, I doubt that Roose let too many people who knew much about Ramsay leave his lands, and it’s pretty clear that Northerners are a rare thing in Kings Landing. Varys might have known: but I am betting that Roose was very good about finding Varys (or anyone else’s) “little birds” and cutting off their missives. As the Dreadfort was never really going to be a threat to the Iron Throne, it probably was not in the foremost of Varys’ concerns.

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    16. There is no way that makes sense to me that LF didn’t know about Ramsay, even Show LF. Maybe not before-but certainly since the Red Wedding. Ramsay, who at this point had already mailed a severed prince penis to the King of the Ironborn and tormented people for taxes/fun/any reason he wanted. No one mentioned that? Anywhere? It’s kind of a big deal. And Roose never hid his bastard. He mentioned to Robb that he was sending him to Winterfell back in the day. They didn’t know what he looked like-but they knew he existed.

      Also-LF would have people close to Cat. It makes sense considering his obsession. So people in the North and Vale who were his spies would definitely have mentioned Ramsay.

      Finally-and this is the worst. Even if for some reason he actually had never heard of Ramsay, his actions were irresponsible in the extreme. He didn’t stay to make sure she would have a wedding instead of being used as a Bolton hostage-knowing the Bolton’s rep. He didn’t leave a single Vale guard with her-even though she’s a pretty important asset and a lady and Cat’s daughter etc etc. He just dropped her off with the man who killed her brother and HIS lifetime love like it was no big deal.

      LF until now has been an insane chess player. But that? That’s more than an off day imo.
      I’ll be very interested to see what happens to him as a result of that.

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    17. The Dragon Demands,

      The fact that you don’t like the adaptation choice of putting Sansa in WF doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Because it does. On all levels: Drama, adaptation and character development. There’s over 20 reasons I could name to explain why. But given you won’t listen, I won’t bother.

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    18. Chad Brick,

      It’s never stated once in the show that Littlefinger has a spy network in the North, so him knowing about Ramsay would have been odd. Little finger’s influence simply doesn’t reach that far, and his spy network certainly isn’t bigger than Varys’. Besides, Ramsay’s deeds were kept quiet. He didn’t forcibly marry and imprison a noble lady and steal her lands like in the books. He hunted a few lowborn girls and carried out his flaying behind closed doors. Show Ramsay knows how to keep a low profile, until it’s no longer necessary.

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    19. Just deal with it. It’s OOC and it didn’t make sense that LF had no idea about Ramsay’s sadism but D&D already made a decision about it. So stop thinking show!LF knew Ramsay very well.

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    20. Wimsey: However, poor old Theon had no idea who Ramsay even was: and that says a lot about how good Roose was at controlling information.

      Perhaps, but other houses in the north were exposed to Ramsay’s insanity over the past decade. Passing thru Moat Cailin would have been enough, imho. I disagree with Gillen’s assessment of LF’s “atonement/remorse”…that is not the same character that issued a subtle smile in the WF crypt when responding to Sansa’s ignorance regarding her knowledge of Lyanna. I would prefer not to have read this interview. I will plan to overwrite those memory cells soon with more relevant info.

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    21. Young Dragon:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Sansa is going to play politics in the North, rather than politics in the Vale. If her arc consists of her rallying the North to the Stark cause, which I think it will, then I would prefer the show version over the book.

      And they may well prove to be similar enough. Again, I strongly suspected this was actually condensing something from the *next* novel….so I’m focusing my energies on being more angry about Dorne. I’m still on the fence with this. Much depends on the next novel.

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    22. Hodors Bastard: Perhaps, but other houses in the north were exposed to Ramsay’s insanity over the past decade.

      I don’t think that is true. Ned did not know enough about Ramsay to try to do anything. Even in the books, by the time Ramsay really “came out” and started doing things, the War was well underway: and by that point, news from the north would have been scarce and highly unreliable.

      Within the context of the show, Robb had no qualms about Ramsay taking Winterfell. Had it been even rumored what Ramsay was like, Robb would have been told by someone at that point. And if the Northerners were not gossiping about it, then there is no way LF would know.

      And as for Moat Caitln, well, how would that have looked much different from any other sacked place that one would have seen? Even the signs of the flaying would have been long lost by the time the Sansa and LF rode through their months later. Indeed, at that point, it would have been nothing but skeletons largely dismembered by animals.

      The Varys question is a little more interesting from a purely geeky fanboy perspective. That is, who would win in a duel between Varys’ Little Birds and Roose’s Blackout Curtain? If anyone in the 7 Kingdoms had the ability to shutdown even Varys network, then it would have been Roose.

      Young Dragon: It’s never stated once in the show that Littlefinger has a spy network in the North, so him knowing about Ramsay would have been odd. Little finger’s influence simply doesn’t reach that far, and his spy network certainly isn’t bigger than Varys’. Besides, Ramsay’s deeds were kept quiet. He didn’t forcibly marry and imprison a noble lady and steal her lands like in the books. He hunted a few lowborn girls and carried out his flaying behind closed doors.

      And even in the books, by the time Ramsay forcible married that noble lady, the war had been underway for some time. Little information about it would have gotten south. Moreover, given how many false or wildly exaggerated stories would make it south for every true one, how much credence could it get?

      Indeed, in the books, Roose admits to doing a few things that Ned Stark outlawed: and Ramsay was the result of one! (Roose still kept first night rights, it seems.) However, Ned never got enough hard evidence to do anything about it. Somehow, I doubt that the clients in LF’s brothels were that much better informed or choosing that for their pillow talk.

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    23. I want to see Jon making an alliance with LF only for Jon to turn the script on him in a similar way to how LF did it to Ned season 1. Im also hoping once Jon comes back to full health he is a little more ruthless and calculating.

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    24. Chad Brick,

      Why not. He just didn’t know. Th boltons flay for centuries. It didn’t bother Ned, our god hero, that his banner men had this awful tradition why would bother LF. LF gave them a bride of value, that is a political toy, not a toy to be flayed. So he gambled because he had another and bigger plan. To become Warden of the North, and in the scripts of this very plan it suited him to loan Sansa to the Boltons for a while, an illusion of power for them until he made his arrangements at KL. In the capital there is chaos and Sansa is confused, the whole situations suits him perfectly. It is amidst chaos he can become even more powerful and then he seizes the most suitable opportunity and goes back to WF and claim her. He thinks he can still manipulate her and the proof was how easy was for him to emotionally convince her to make the big leap to go to WF. LF was sure that the Boltons wouldn’t touch Sansa and by this he surely meant to kill her. But even in the case he had this competent network of spies and knew about Ramsays monstrous character he wouldn’t mind a broken Sansa, a Sansa that would be a mere pawn for his personal ambitions and pleasures. In any case he counted on Roose’s political mind as well, that he could tame his boy. We have seen Ramsey how sweet and pleasant he is in the public occasions. He is very careful not to show much of his monstrosity in public unless it is necessary for political reason as with the Cerwyn lord but that would not necessarily, as I said above, mean that he could kill such a politically valuable asset as his marriage with Sansa… So I don’t see any inconsistencies here

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    25. Hodors Bastard,

      Seriously, I do like Aiden Gillen, but I don’t know what he’s smoking. I do know however that I’m not taking a hit from that pipe. It’s not the first time that he’s misrepresenting the character, in my opinion. I guess it may be an actor thing, but it sometimes seems as if he’s refusing to see the dirtbag for what he is.

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    26. Yes, Ramsay flayed some people who disobeyed the Boltons but there is nothing unusual in that. That is the traditional way of punishment for the Boltons.

      Stannis burned people alive and many considered him important ally.

      Dany crucified people alive and Varys and Tyrion are helping her now.

      This is brutal word and punishments are brutal. Doesn’t mean that that person is a psychopath.

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    27. Who said that only because he feels guilt for what happened to Sansa he doesn’t pursue his own interests anymore? He could pretend to be concerned to get the Vale Soldiers under his command.
      But he definitely has a weakness for the Stark women.

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    28. LF never even checked on his investment (Sansa)? C’mon they used Sansa to build viewer rage against Ramsay (in their defense it worked). LF could’ve taken her anywhere. Gotten any number of different alliances through a marriage with Sansa (any enemy of the Lannisters or a northern house not named Bolton). This master “player” chooses the guy he “conveniently” knows nothing about? He’s fortunate Sansa didn’t hurt herself or get killed. Plus he def lost Sansa now. Or he better have. If Sansa “forgives” him then they just reset the failed plot.

      Tk;dr Is there any character as lucky as Ramsay? And with one move LF self destructed. In terms of a riskier plan, I say the SJ conspiracy is nothing compared to LF mistake.

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    29. Tycho Nestoris,

      He did. He double checked his investment. Sansa showed to him that she agrees with his plan to marry Ramsay. Of course LF didn’t know about Ramsay, but then he didn’t seem to know that Stannis got an army and was about to attack WF. So yes he couldn’t be sure that his investment would give him an enormous profit. But he was sure that his investment wouldn’t give him the greatest of loss by all possible calculation considering what LF knows and he knows a great deal. Furthermore he is very sure that in the worse of the scenarios he has a safety belt to protect him. He doesn’t know though that there is even worse than the worse of the scenarios that he could possibly think. We have many examples in history of great masterminds who failed because of a miscalculation that spiralled to a total catastrophe…

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    30. RG:
      He didn’t leave a single Vale guard with her-even though she’s a pretty important asset a

      Yes. Everything else can be explained, but not this. I don’t think that he needed to know about Ramsay. There are so many explanations why not. And I don’t think that he really cares that much for Sansa, but someone should have stayed with her.

      On the other hand, in the show they never bother with this type of technicalities. Myrcella is alone in Dorne also. Margaery Tyrell also seems alone, with Loras only, in KL.

      At this stage of the story GRRM has 20 storylines, D&D have 10. Some sacrifices must be made for the show to survive, or they would lose control of the plot, just like GRRM did.

      You just can’t compress 20 storylines to 10, without making some holes somewhere. But there were really few holes to be honest and storytelling seems very confident in S6. They have full control of the story and that is very important.

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    31. thinking if how many whitnesses are alive, that can confirm LF’s betrayal…

      -Cersei
      -some unknown King’s guard

      the Hound

      and noine seems to be any nearby Sansa. Hence, as long as LF can make Sansa believe, he did not know about Ramsay, he can always play the role of uncle Petyr.

      I presume, this will take a little longer and LF bites it in the final season… I kind of want to see him trying to profit from that White Walker issue, once the chaos is large enough.

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    32. The Dragon Demands,

      Maybe Sansa’s book arc is boring, thats why D/D decided to sub Sansa for Jenye. Nobody would have cared (as much) had we followed fake “Arya” deal with Ramsey and then escape. There are too many characters and story lines already, for the show to handle…makes sense to marry two of them. No pun intended 🙂

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    33. mau:
      Tycho Nestoris,

      But the thing is, LF made a mistake and he will pay for that. he will be dead at the end of this season, I’m sure of it.

      I’m hoping for Sansa to slay him in Winterfell (castle made of snow).

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    34. dothrakian raven: It didn’t bother Ned, our god hero, that his banner men had this awful tradition why would bother LF.

      Actually, Ned outlawed it. He just never had hard evidence that the Boltons were doing that or other things. (First night “rights” were outlawed, too: whoops.) And that is one of the huge flaws with the “LF should have known!” brigade. What happens in the North largely stays in the North. And what happens at the Dreadfort stays in the Dreadfort without getting out to the rest of the North. One thing that is well developed both on the show and in the books is that the Boltons were very good at keeping secrets within a larger land that was a well-kept secret in itself.

      But, of course, the other issue is: why would anyone in Kings Landing even cared enough to learn? The Boltons were not players in the Game of Thrones. Oh, sure, there probably were stories about the disputes among those far-flung Northern houses occasionally: but given that the Northerners are considered as little better than Wildlings by the descendants of the Andals, why would anybody be surprised or care?

      Now, once the war got going, in both books and show, Ramsay became a less well-kept secret in the North. However, news from the north would become even scarcer given that commerce and trade would have largely collapsed. Moreover, the family controlling most of the newsflow just happens to be… the Boltons.

      mau: This is brutal word and punishments are brutal. Doesn’t mean that that person is a psychopath.

      Yeah, that is a good point: in the psychopathy of war, it would get really hard to recognize genuine psychopathy. Suppose that Sansa and LF had gotten to Moat Caitlin in time to see obviously flayed corpses. Is Ramsay rumbled? Hardly: from what we’ve seen, both sides of the war have been doing things like this. And, let’s face it: a lot of the “atrocities” are not arbitrary cruelties, but carried out sentences.

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    35. Tycho Nestoris: He didn’t *check in* on his investment after after he made it.

      But what means would LF have had to check in on Sansa? He does not have a palantir! (And if he did, then I would not put it past the Boltons to have some sort of cloaking device for it.) The only person with whom LF would be able to communicate would have been Roose.

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    36. Calling it right now- shaggydead is not dead. The head was dipped in tar to look like his.

      The head was too small, and his fur was smooth and shiny- not oily!!!

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    37. Wimsey,

      Obviously Ned did outlaw it in the books which I haven’t read but in the show Roose Bolton is a close allegiance to Robb who never questioned his practices. And yes, the Boltons are not visible players but I think LF would have noticed that it was Roose who contributed to change a bit the route of his chaos scenario. But that of course does not necessarily mean that handing Sansa to the Boltons would have been a bad investment. And as I said above a miscalculation is not historically a rarity among those cunning and shrewd schemers…

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    38. Wimsey: Somehow, I doubt that the clients in LF’s brothels were that much better informed or choosing that for their pillow talk.

      Oh, I quite disagree! I’m sure the brothels are where LF gained massive info! It seems that my assessment of LF’s tendrils throughout the kingdom is very different from yours and others. He is Pod x 100 in my book, filled with secrets regarding all houses throughout the land.

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    39. Wimsey,

      So LF can’t speak to Sansa alone? Fine. Then what was his plan? Just expect Sansa to telepathically find out his scheme? She sure wasn’t going to be loyal (to LF) after her first seconds alone with Ramsay.

      I think it’s relevant to point out that the SJ conspiracy is not believable in some circles because it puts Rickon in danger. And yet here we are not batting an eye when LF leaves Sansa alone, with no way to communicate danger. I honestly don’t know what LF would have done if Ramsay was a great guy. Be happy that he brokered a happy marriage? He got nothing either way from the marriage except the ever elusive currency of chaos.

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    40. Littlefinger will die in episode 10 in the Godswood, I am calling it now, Sansa will use him for the Vale army and promise him herself in marriage, and play him the same way he played her in season 5, and in the end she will betray him.

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    41. dothrakian raven: in the show Roose Bolton is a close allegiance to Robb who never questioned his practices.

      That’s not quite true: Robb and Roose butt heads frequently. The primary point is that it is not plausible that Ramsay could have had a widely known reputation for being what we would now call a psychopath and for Robb to have casually and gratefully accepted Roose’s offer to have Ramsay retake Winterfell. For people in the South to have had any chance to know about Ramsay, it would have had to have been information from before the War: wars kill reliable newsflow, after all. If Robb did not know, then it was not even slightly known in the North prior to the War, and therefore not known in the South.

      Hodors Bastard: Oh, I quite disagree! I’m sure the brothels are where LF gained massive info! It seems that my assessment of LF’s tendrils throughout the kingdom is very different from yours and others. He is Pod x 100 in my book, filled with secrets regarding all houses throughout the land.

      My bad! I did not complete my sentence. Yes, I agree that the brothels were how LF learns (or learned) about people. I think that people envision a Varysesque spy network. However, the line about how “men talk when they are happy” is the key one!

      My point was that his King’s Landing brothels were not getting northerners, simply because there is so little traffic from north south. LF might have started brothels elsewhere in the kingdom to learn things from there: but never do we get any indication of him learning anything from a Northern Brothel. Besides, somehow I am betting that Roose probably had a monopoly on such things near the Dreadfort. He likes a “quiet house,” after all.

      Indeed, an open question now is: with his Kings Landing brothel’s lost, will LF be getting anywhere near as much information as he had been? My bet is “no.”

      Tycho Nestoris: So LF can’t speak to Sansa alone? Fine. Then what was his plan? Just expect Sansa to telepathically find out his scheme? She sure wasn’t going to be loyal (to LF) after her first seconds alone with Ramsay.

      Wait: what is your time frame? When LF leaves Winterfell, Sansa has not been alone with Ramsay. LF has no reason to expect that Ramsay is going to be anything other than what you would expect a bastard in his position to be: a total tool so eager to please the “real” nobles and to be accepted by them, and so smitten with the beautiful Lady Sansa, that Sansa would have Ramsay eating out of her hands (figuratively) in no time. After all, LF knows that Sansa has spent years watching Cersei do things in this way: he tacitly reminds her of this.

      And the plan was simple: get revenge for your family while Stannis’ army marches on Winterfell. Seduce, manipulate and betray. And if Ramsay had been, say, Jon Snow, then it probably would have worked. And LF provided the rest of the plan: he takes men from the Vale to clean up what is left.

      After LF leaves Winterfell (which is when he would want to check in on his investment), then LF has no means of communicating with anyone other than Roose without the messages going through Roose. If LF had tried to leave spies, well, good luck on that: they would have been dog food shortly.

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    42. In S01E03, Cat asks LF how he knew she was coming to King’s Landing. He replied by pointing to Varys, who was just entering the room. So I took that to imply that LF doesn’t have intel in the North but had to rely on Varys’ spy network.

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    43. I like your version more than the show’s 😉
      Seduce, manipulate and betray? Give me Rickon > Sansa then

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    44. Wimsey: It would have bordered on a plot-hole if Baelish had somehow known about Ramsay, given what a good job the Boltons did of keeping him (and most everything) secret. The Starks didn’t know about him, and they knew a hell of a lot more about the North than anyone in Kings Landing would have known.And yet when Roose suggested to Robb that Ramsay take Winterfell, Robb never even worried about it.Indeed, Gillen is making a mistake that some viewers make: thinking that Ramsay had a reputation.However, poor old Theon had no idea who Ramsay even was: and that says a lot about how good Roose was at controlling information.

      Basically, unless there were people who spent a lot of time at the Dreadfort spending a lot of time in Baelish’s brothels, then Baelish would have had no way to know.Somehow, I doubt that Roose let too many people who knew much about Ramsay leave his lands, and it’s pretty clear that Northerners are a rare thing in Kings Landing.Varys might have known: but I am betting that Roose was very good about finding Varys (or anyone else’s) “little birds” and cutting off their missives.As the Dreadfort was never really going to be a threat to the Iron Throne, it probably was not in the foremost of Varys’ concerns.

      Can we get this stickied to the top of the site? I’m always amazed at how difficult most viewers find it to get inside the perspective of the characters instead of the viewer’s. I’ve always felt Baelish 1) had no idea the extent of Ramsay’s cruelty. Even if he had heard a few troublesome tales, he probably didn’t think they would be applied to his wife and such a valuable strategic asset as Sansa Stark and 2) say what you will about Roose, but he is not Ramsay. Petyr probably banked on Roose being in charge and in control and with things unraveling in Kingslanding, would look to Baelish and the Vale as an ally. 3) LF was also making a power play. We forget he was awarded Harrenhal and named Lord of the Riverlands, then married Lysa Arryn and with her gone is now Lord Protector of the Vale. He was trying to put pieces in place to have political sway in the North. Add this to his alliance with the Tyrells and LF suddenly wields a great deal of influence.

      No, he didn’t know the full extent of what Ramsay Snow was. Wimsey has said it better than I could.

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    45. Interesting thoughts

      Littlefinger is the type of guy who would have assiduously done his research

      Perhaps may have been better to go with, “he assumed Roose would have been able to contain Ramsays rumoured excesses and impress upon him the political importance of the relationship” etc

      This would have then tied into the dyanmic between Roose and Ramsay “eg you played your games with her, we need her for the entire North etc”

      Then LF can simply say he was caught out firstly by Stannis losing and secondly by Ramsay knifing Roose, so while he is a good player he does get caught out, which is fair enough as we all have as well…

      So the challenge is for LF to adapt, and he can say he is inclined to help Sansa and Jons cause because they are easier to manipulate etc

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    46. I’ve been thinking on it and I think I would be a bit disappointed if Littlefinger was legitimately taken aback by and is abashed by Sansa’s travails with Ramsey. I think it is more likely that he was kind of apathetic to it as long as her marriage to Ramsey served his long term goals. Which I think are bringing the Vale armies down on Ramsey and the Boltons (with the consent and agreement of Cersi Lannister at that).

      Now I think it would be quite likely if he presented it as he was surprised and wants to atone to Sansa when and if he does meet her in an attempt to win her trust. Of if he is not going to meet up with her that he presents it that way to Bronze Yohn, SweetRobin and the Vale powerbrokers. After all since Sansa is now anti-Bolton it would be in his interest to align with her. What was he going to do if she was happily married to Ramsey? Forego an attack which he had already talked to the Lannisters about?

      Furthermore, I think it would be quite natural if they presented it in such a way that the viewers were at least left wondering if LF was being legit. That he had taken a “face turn” in the wrestling parlance. It would at least theoretically add some tension and surprise to his final “heel” turn which I feel is almost definitely his end play.

      Anyway that’s my take on it.

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    47. <blockquote

      No, he didn’t know the full extent of what Ramsay Snow was.Wimsey has said it better than I could.

      There is a scene between Ramsey and Littlefinger last year where Littlefinger literally says to Ramsey something like “I’ve heard very little about you” So I dunno why people continue to debate this…

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    48. As far as Jeyne Poole merging goes, I think I can see what they are doing, eg merging Ramsay with HtH as well in a sense as far as LF machinations go

      I reckon for this season she has been merged with book Rickons plot, eg Davos will rally Northern Households around Rickon, instead the show will do it via Sansa

      In the books I reckon Brienne (and Jaimie) fetch Sansa/Alayne out of the Vale and take her to the RL, I suspect Sansa may end up going south to the RL in the show in S7 so she ends up in the same place

      As for the show, I will be fascinated to see what happens with the Vale Army, of course they have to get through the Neck and Moat Cailin currently held by the Boltons following Theon/Reeks intervention

      Obviously Howland Reed was introduced at ToJ, so I’d love to see if Davos tour of duty involves treating with Howland Reed and getting him to besiege and take over Moat Cailin (gateway to the North)

      Assuming LF does go North with the Vale Army, if they are doing Jaimie AFfC arc this season with RR, if Sansa sends Brienne there it says something about Sansa’s intentions, I reckon that after S6 Northern civil war plot is done, Sansa will want to go south and use the Vale Army to eject the Lannisters from the RL and put the Tully’s back into power over the Freys)

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    49. huntermac87: Im also hoping once Jon comes back to full health he is a little more ruthless and calculating.

      We’ve already seen it. He hung 3 officers and a little Olly & then told Edd to fuck the watch.

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    50. The idea that LF thought Roose was in control is probably a key one. LF knows Roose conspired over the RW, while he’s at Winterfell Roose makes a point of showing control over communications and an understanding of Sansa’s importance to strategy. Why wouldn’t he, from LF’s point of view, be in control of his son and impressing on him strategic thinking?

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    51. Glamorous,

      My point is that having “all” is his overriding goal. And if that means forgetting any feelings he might have for Sansa (paternal or otherwise) and royally use her to get “all”, he will. My speculation is that LF’s dream scenario would be him as king, with Sansa, of “impeccable lineage” like her mother and very much resembling her, as his queen consort.

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    52. “Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done..”

      Who said that? Not a trusting person I assume.

      Dolorous Methuselah’s take on where LF goes from here makes sense to me.

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    53. I just find it hard to believe Littlefinger has Sansa’s best interests at heart. He betrays her dad and gets him killed (while readers blame her ;)). He sneaks her out of KL while she’s suspected of murder (which is his doing), then marries her off to the son of the ruler of Winterfell (who killed her mother and brother). If KL’s army attacks WF, what happens to her then? It’s not like she’ll be served actual justice by Cersei. I find it unlikely LF will get away with spiriting her off someplace twice. UNLESS LF has a plan to destroy house Lannister ASAP.
      I also don’t buy him as a “Snape” type, where he will always love Cat. He seems more likely to hold a grudge and slowly ruin her life for scorning him.
      Regardless, he’s always been using Sansa for whatever he can and will ultimately be willing to sacrifice her if need be.

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    54. CatspawAssassin,

      I think this is the problem. If Westeros were a real medieval world, of course Littlefinger wouldn’t know about Ramsay for all kinds of excellent reasons. This is a fictional work, though, and Littlefinger has been presented as the guy who knows all things, the guy who is so lucky that nothing he plots ever falls flat. HIS not knowing about Ramsay doesn’t ring right. He should know. He’s Littlefinger.

      The other thing is his need for atonement. Littlefinger has shown zero human feelings so far. No compassion, no conscience, no humanity. He’s Loki. He’s the trickster. Atonement doesn’t fit.

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    55. Night King is the king of death, darkness and chaos. Littlefinger praises the Chaos God. LF works to NK. You heard here first.

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    56. The Long Night: No, he didn’t know the full extent of what Ramsay Snow was. Wimsey has said it better than I could.

      Agree on both counts. People want to super-villain Littlefinger when he’s very much a human. Neither he nor Varys are infallible. Varys didn’t know Ros would be killed, and Littlefinger couldn’t find Arya for Cersei, despite all their resources. And these were things happening in King’s Landing. If Robb didn’t know about Roose’s bastard, how was LIttlefinger?

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    57. maria,

      Agreed. And if it happened it wouldn’t be surprising. We’ve already seen LF do the two-faced thing enough times already. And GOT tends to shy away from “seen that done this.”

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    58. My favorite Baelish quote from that article:

      It precedes Lysa falling throughout the Moon Door.

      Not talking about the “throughout” typo. But I’d say to call that falling is putting a bit of a spin on that incident.

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    59. Dolorous Methuselah,

      Regarding the late Lysa, part of me says “I miss that batshitcrazy character,” while another part says, “Kate Dickie knocked it out of the park in that role,” and yet another part says “Watch your head on the way down, lady!”

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    60. LordDavos: Why wouldn’t he, from LF’s point of view, be in control of his son and impressing on him strategic thinking?

      I agree. I think that there might also be another angle. LF probably does not know much about the Northerners, but Roose Bolton was involved enough in the prior war that he would have had some reputation in the South for that. Thus, we could almost stand this on it’s head. LF is good at gathering information: and he would have to be good at recognizing what might be a grain of truth amidst the chafe of propaganda, lies and simple factual errors. A lot of the error would be Grimmsian: 3rd and 4th retellings that got distorted and exaggerated along the way. (That would be particularly true for any news from the North.) But, and to paraphrase Churchill, in the Game of Thrones, every truth must have a bodyguard of lies. Ned Stark never trusted Roose, and LF might have learned that: but someone like LF would wonder, how much of any rumors around Roose was true, and how much of it was carefully cultivated lies by Roose to make the Boltons seem more fearsome? LF would probably be more prone to suspect the latter: after all, that is what he would do.

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    61. LordDavos,

      I also think that it seems that LF relied on Roose, who he probably knew a little bit, and whom he knew to value such an asset.

      Furthermore, Roose, who knew his son much better, and was at WF, even made a bigger mistake than Littlefinger: he did not see Ramsay mistreating Sansa or did not intervene. Only after the fact he says “You played your games with her and now she’s gone.”

      I’m inclined to believe that Roose was busy with ruling, and had a blind eye again for Ramsay after Moat Cailin (which made him com back from his “I’ve placed far too much trust in you” concerning Theon), and part of what Ramsay did [the part of locking Sansa up] was not considered as abnormal behaviour of a freshly married husband in their times.

      About his blind eye, I find it remarkable for a man like Roose to underestimate the bad sides of Ramsay (but then this obviously also leads to his death) but it could be that this was Roose’s weak point: he wanted Ramsay to succeed him and wanted to focus on the “good” in him. In fact, this is the opposite flaw of Tywin: he did not want to see the “good” in Tyrion (except when Jaime and Cersei screwed up at the end of S1).

      One can only hope that Ramsay meanwhile learned his lesson and treats Rickon a little bit better… [idle hope, probably]

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    62. Aidan is one of my favorites! I love that he seems so quirky and that transfers beautifully to his character’s creep factor. He and Varys. Would love to meet those two! 🙂

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    63. CatspawAssassin:
      Dolorous Methuselah,

      Regarding the late Lysa, part of me says “I miss that batshitcrazy character,” while another part says, “Kate Dickie knocked it out of the park in that role,” and yet another part says “Watch your head on the way down, lady!”

      Hah. Good one. Thanks for the chuckle with that last line. Been a long day and that came in handy.

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    64. fdr:
      I’m inclined to believe that Roose was busy with ruling, and had a blind eye again for Ramsay after Moat Cailin (which made him com back from his “I’ve placed far too much trust in you” concerning Theon), and part of what Ramsay did [the part of locking Sansa up] was not considered as abnormal behaviour of a freshly married husband in their times.

      That absolutely was “abnormal behaviour”. Sansa would have been expected to attend meals, etc. as normal. There is no way Roose didn’t know what Ramsay was doing, unless he was an idiot.

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    65. Wimsey

      Yes and LF would have trusted that the details about the Boltons that could be confirmed pointed to an intelligent, cool-headed strategic-thinking brutal man in charge. He also made a mistake in his calculations about Stannis and his military capability.

      Fdr

      It is interesting why exactly Roose slipped up with Ramsay. He wanted to teach Ramsay to be a leader and tried to use the fear of rejection to keep him in line. But Ramsay got off the leash once he had a taste of his own power. I do like the way the show is presenting a generational shift in leaders in the north.

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    66. LordDavos,

      He also made a mistake in his calculations about Stannis and his military capability.

      I see your point, but I can’t say as I blame LF for thinking that. Roose defeated Mance’s wildling camp in approx. one minute of screen time.

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    67. LF might have known the Boltons are dangerous but he had no idea Ramsay was a psychopath. And he definitely did not believe him to treat Sansa, his wife and future Wardeness of the North to be treated like that. Very simple explanation that the actor just confirmed. Yet people dont see the simple explanation and are going tits up. Whatever.

      Where did the “paternal love” quote come from? Thats definitely not “paternal love” he feels for Sansa. He definitely does care about her though, atleast in the show. But i hope he doesnt get whitewashed this season, as in, joining the good guys. Especially if Vale ex machina is supposed to happen. Or maybe he’s on the side of the good guys this season only to plot something later. Which ends up backfiring because of Sansa, his one and only blind spot.

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    68. Sean C.: That absolutely was “abnormal behaviour”.Sansa would have been expected to attend meals, etc. as normal.There is no way Roose didn’t know what Ramsay was doing, unless he was an idiot.

      I think its already been established that Ramsay was a blind spot for Roose. Like Tywin and his children.

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    69. Feels like it would have been better to have LF know everything and still place Sansa at Winterfell. If she’s not at the Wall, she’s at least important enough to the Boltons to where she would not have been killed out right. That seems more of a LF move than this to me regardless of his unrequited feelings for Catelyn Stark.

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    70. fdr,

      There are countless examples of fathers not seeing their son’s weakness and stupidity.

      Marcus Aurelius ended a long time tradition of selecting your heir based on intelligence and capability by making his son Commodus follow him. A complete idiot who is without a doubt one of the biggest causes the Roman Empire started collapsing.

      Roose let Ramsey take MC, he gave him command of the army to beat Stannis, he sent him to collect takes, he gave him Sansa to solidify his claim on the North.
      Everything he did, he did for Ramsey. He knew he was a bit mad but he was his son nevertheless.

      I won’t even enter the LF ”debate”, it’s plain silly, Wimsey and the others said it better then I could.

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    71. oh c’mon. Everyone in the north knows Ramsay’s a phsyco. He left a trail of skinned men. He skinned people for not paying their taxes and made it public so that no one else would try to do that again. Roose was angry at him for the very fact that he wasn’t keeping it indoors.
      His smallfalk knows, his vassals know, it would have been so easy for Baelish to know too, much easyer than any gathering info task he’s ever done. All he had to do is wanting to know.
      What happened to the concept of knowing what people like and want so that you can be in control?
      I don’t buy it.

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    72. I’ll let my very unsullied wife settle the matter. Her reaction? “Wtf, how could LF not know? Isn’t he supposed to know everything?”

      My response? Beats me. Just roll with it.

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    73. Wimsey: I agree.I think that there might also be another angle.LF probably does not know much about the Northerners, but Roose Bolton was involved enough in the prior war that he would have had some reputation in the South for that.Thus, we could almost stand this on it’s head.LF is good at gathering information: and he would have to be good at recognizing what might be a grain of truth amidst the chafe of propaganda, lies and simple factual errors.A lot of the error would be Grimmsian: 3rd and 4th retellings that got distorted and exaggerated along the way.(That would be particularly true for any news from the North.)But, and to paraphrase Churchill, in the Game of Thrones, every truth must have a bodyguard of lies.Ned Stark never trusted Roose, and LF might have learned that: but someone like LF would wonder, how much of any rumors around Roose was true, and how much of it was carefully cultivated lies by Roose to make the Boltons seem more fearsome?LF would probably be more prone to suspect the latter: after all, that is what he would do.

      Why would LF be blind in the North? If anything one would expect him to have had a particularly keen intense in the goings-on concerning the love of his life. It’s also proximate to the area where he came from, and with his background in ports and trading, it’s likely he has business interests as well.

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    74. Ayman: I think its already been established that Ramsay was a blind spot for Roose. Like Tywin and his children.

      Oh c’mon. Tywin may have misunderstood his children’s personalities, but if Sansa literally vanished from sight after she married Tyrion for a period of, what, months (seeing as Walda delivered that baby shortly after she escaped), I’m pretty sure he’d think there was something odd about it.

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    75. AlexG: Pfft! What next novel? That book isn´t showing its pages anytime soon ?

      I must admit, I find it amusing that some book purists are currently unsure whether they should be frothing mad at the mouth because D&D dared derivate from GRRM’s holy text, or whether they should be applauding D&D’s brilliance for following GRRM’s masterpiece.

      It must suck so much to live in limbo like that, instead of being able to separate the books from the show and enjoy (or dislike) the show on its own merits.

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    76. LF doesn’t stay for the wedding, u know these people did murder her brother and mother. They are setting up the audience to think he’s safe. He’s a dead man right after the battle of Winterfell. It doesn’t matter if he knew or not. Someone has to take responsibility, in the eyes of Sansa. I think she will poison him and be in total control of the north and Vale

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    77. Chad Brick: Why would LF be blind in the North?

      First and foremost, the Northerners do not play the Game in Kings Landing. That has several side-effects. One, Northerners are not in his brothels spilling secrets. Two, given LF’s focus on the Game surrounding the crown, details about non-players are just so much noise. Any odd information that turns up about the Boltons is trivia. Moreover, it’s going to be so second-hand that discerning what in it is true and what has been embellished would take work: and why bother when the Boltons, Umbers, Manderlys, etc., never have bothered to play the Game?

      LF was probably much better informed about goings on in some Essosian cities. After all, Kings Landing is a major port of commerce and that means that they get a lot of people from the major ports of commerce from Essos. LF’s position is the realm’s treasurer would have furthered that.

      But, again, one of the things that comes up over and over in the books and the show is that what happens in the North stays in the North. The southerners pay them little mind most of the time and hold them in low regard. The one time when they would be interested in the North is during the War: and, of course, that would be the time when information flow would be at it’s lowest, and the noise to signal ratio highest.

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    78. mau: Some sacrifices must be made for the show to survive, or they would lose control of the plot, just like GRRM did.

      I think this is the main reason.

      Sansa starts as a silly girl, then watches all her dreams and fantasies get crushed: the charming prince is a monster, the brave knights abuse her, only the ugly hound and the dwarf defend her. Shae teaches her a few things about the world, and LF mentors her in manipulation.

      And when it seems she is learning/turning to the dark side, she reverts back to being abused again, but we already saw that. That’s not great story telling.

      Also the whole thing is forced. Why would LF give away so easily “the key to the North”, why on earth will Sansa agree to marry into the family that killed her own, because of some vague words about revenge? She knows that Ramsay will have sex with her, its expected, and maybe even get her pregnant.

      The only reason I can think of, is that it was a necessary sacrifice for the show to tighten the plot, instead of having too many scattered characters and plots (which is why I disagree on the decision of sending Sam away)

      “he believes Baelish feels a “paternal warmth” for Sansa.” Gillen is trolling us. That’s what LF will say to Sansa this season, and wants us to believe him. He will betray her, obviously.

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    79. Winter is delayed,

      Character evolution isn’t only up, it’s a roller-couster. Sansa’s ”evolution” in s4 was false, it was imagined, she didn’t get any real power, now it will be different, she is in her home, in the North where she belongs.
      I have absolut confidence that she will learn from the things she went trough and become a stronger person.

      LF’s reasons have been explained many times.
      He gives her to the Bolton’s to break their alliance with the crown. Then Cersei gives him permission to invade the North with a Vale army. Bolton thinks, because of their alliance that he comes to help with Stannis/Northern lords and welcomes him in.
      LF then attacks both sides and with the crown’s blessing he installs himself as Warned of the North, of course he will wouldn’t be loyal to the crown but he completed his short term-plan, he gained even more power.

      Sansa doesn’t have a choice. LF clearly manipulates her, he gives her a ”choice” when it’s clear there isn’t one. He gives her false hopes and promises and she makes the mistake of trusting him.

      LF doesn’t care about Sansa. She isn’t his love. It was Catelyn who he truly loved. He may have some feelings for her, sometimes they go from fatherly to simple lust.
      But in the end, the only thing LF cares about is LF.

      The only thing I agree that is different from the books is LF methods. In the books he is much more patiently, while in the show he is ”a man who likes to gamble” as he himself says.
      Long con’s simply don’t work on TV. You can’t have him do nothing for 3 seasons.

      I loved Sansa’s story last year, it was my 2nd favourite story closly behind Jon’s. I’m glad they sent her to WF, that is were she belongs, not in the Vale.
      In the books she simply lacks a story (Waiting for Sean C, to jump on me saying that she has, don’t bother. You will never convince me that babysitting Robin and climbing down a mountain is a story) They couldn’t have her sit for 1 season doing nothing. Her Vale story simply doesn’t work for TV. Period. No matter how much they tried, they couldn’t have kept a major character in complete isolation and doing absolutly nothing. Eating Lemoncakes and babysitting little kids simply doesn’t work on TV. There is no conflict, no drama, no suspanse. Nothing.

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    80. Winter is delayed,

      I fully agree. As everybody, including herself, presumed her brothers to be dead, she would be the rightful heir to Winterfell and the North. Why would she agree to marry into the family that killed hers, give up her claim and legitimize those traitors and murderers? Makes absolutely no sense!

      But it’s done. I assume it was to get her into the North and hopefully set her up to be the catalyst of Stark restoration.

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    81. Mrs. Podrick Payne,

      Because LF clearly manipulates her. She thinks he will help her regain her home but he abandones her. He lied. This will also help break Sansa from LF.

      She was a pawn in his game, he did it to improve his situation.

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    82. I can accept that LF might not have known about Ramsay. If there is one thing GoT has taught is that nobody is infallible. However, the “plan” itself (vague revenge) is too dumb for LF and that Sansa would agree to it is beyond non-sensical.

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    83. Chad Brick:
      I’ll let my very unsullied wife settle the matter. Her reaction? “Wtf, how could LF not know? Isn’t he supposed to know everything?”

      My response? Beats me. Just roll with it.

      Sigh. Do tell where it was established that Littlefinger “knows everything”? What kind of silliness is this? Do you think French nobles and officials in the Middle Ages knew everything that happened in some Swedish backwater? The North is literally thousands of miles away from LF’s base of operations and, what’s more, it is wartime with information flow and trade more sporadic and unreliable than ever.

      Please, please, for the love of gods, will this myth of Westerosi perfect internet-fueled immediate information dissemination die a fiery death never to rear its ugly head again? Too much to hope for?

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    84. lalla,

      Littlefinger was traveling at the time Ramsay was flaying the Cerwyns. Besides, even if he wasn’t, why would any Northern lord send this information to the Vale, who hasn’t so much as lifted a finger to help them in the War of the Five Kings?

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    85. Mrs. Podrick Payne,

      LF’s plan isn’t ”revange”.

      He breaks the alliance betwean the Boltons and the Crown.
      Cersei gives him permission to invade the North.
      He is named the Warden of the North.

      I think it’s a preaty good plan. He basically gained triple the power he previously had, by doing 1 thing. Giving Sansa to the Boltons.

      I’m not going to enter a debate as to why she accepted. I already wrote above.
      She was clearly manipulated, she clearly misjudged LF….she was still a ”little girl” back then, far to trusting.

      But she, as most characters did last season, ”killed the boy/girl and let the men/woman be born”.

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    86. Young Dragon,

      Not to mention. Why would he care….?

      He didn’t do this to give Sansa more power, he did it to give himself more power.

      Ramsey flayed enemies, the same way Robb beheaded his enemies. It’s simply the Bolton’s tradition.

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    87. Winter is delayed: “he believes Baelish feels a “paternal warmth” for Sansa.” Gillen is trolling us. That’s what LF will say to Sansa this season, and wants us to believe him. He will betray her, obviously.

      Thank goodness for your take on this. I started reading this thread yesterday and couldn’t believe some of the answers.

      Paternal feelings? If he was feeling so paternal, why be involved in the betrayal and death of her real father? Why plant a couple of not paternal kisses straight on her mouth? Why kill her aunt? And why in the name of seven gods would he disrespect her so much that he would make a deal with the man that helped engineer the death of her mother and actually put a knife into her brother? Then confirm with Roose that the he had “delivered everything I promised.” Every THING he promised. And try to appease Sansa by giving her advice he’d give any other whore: use your wiles on Ramsay to make him behave. That’s not paternal, that’s evil and greedy. That’s an up-jumped brothel owner with big plans working his trade.

      Blind in the North? What?! He’s had his eye on the North since he was a small boy, especially after Lysa married Jon Arryn. He plied Lysa with all sorts of stories of them ruling together, and convinced her to poison her husband, I imagine with marrying her afterwards, and killing her after the wedding always in mind, which is exactly what happened.

      He may have been a little less able to get info regarding who was doing what up there, but he wouldn’t have kept himself totally out of the loop. “The Eyrie is mine.” he tells Roose grandly. “The last time the lords of the Eyrie formed an alliance with the lords of the North, they brought down the greatest dynasty this world has ever known. ” This doesn’t sound like the mind of a man who let thoughts of ruling the North just drift into his head, these are thoughts he’s had his whole life, and he would know to keep as much abreast of happenings as he could. Sansa is just one more “profitable hole,” to him. (paraphrasing Varys, from when Varys was charming Ros in Season 1 or 2.)

      You are right, Aiden is trolling us, just as his character would do. Paternal. Atonement. Pffft. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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    88. Thronetender,

      LF didn’t have his eyes on the North.

      He had his eyes on any kingdom he could get, he wants power, not the North.

      He also didn’t had things planned out. HE couldn’t know the Starks will go to war, he could simply guess. He couldn’t know he would be given the chance to marry Lisa. He simply mentioned the idea couple of times and hopes for the best.
      He couldn’t know Stannis/Renly would loose, he simply took a gamble.

      LF is clearly good at speculating chances when he sees them, much better then most people but he sure as hell didn’t plan every step.

      I agree on his sentiments towards Sansa. He clearly feels lust towards her, and maybe some feelings but they are overshadowed by his love for power.

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    89. Mihnea,

      Fine, she was manipulated. Though at the end of season 4 she looked like she was learning and in the beginning of season 5 she seemed more like LF’s equal than the silly, easily manipulated girl of previous seasons.

      At any rate, I really, really hope she does not fall again for LF’s “paternal” concerns and “atonement”. I hope that Sansa will use all the skills she learned from him, Cersei and the rest to turn the tables on him and maybe even end up with the Vale army in her pocket as well. And I have always wanted Sansa to have just one kill, and that is for LF.

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    90. mau:
      aabe,
      He lied last year. He said their plot for S5 is to take control of the Vale or something like that.

      But….that is sort of what they did, no? Sansa crying and admitting she was really Sansa and getting all the other Lords feeling sorry for her so that nothing was done about the death of Lysa. I would say that is having them eating out of your hand. At least in the show it sure seems that LF and Sansa are running their own show and even including leaving the Vale. So how did he lie?

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    91. Mrs. Podrick Payne,

      I disagree with the first part. It was a illusion she didn’t really change, nor did she gained more power. She saved LF because she thought he will help her and he played on those feeling. I think here lies the biggest difference. You saw her end in S4 as her gaining confidence and finally ”killing the girl”, I saw it as the opposite. She tried but she simply couldn’t do it.

      I completely agree with you on the 2nd part.

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    92. Mihnea,

      Too expend a bit on S5 as well. If she would have grown enough, she would have taken Brienne at the Inn.

      But she put, once again, her faith in LF. She did start a bit to grow, but she was outplayed by LF. Her trusting him to that degree simply shows she didn’t really grow back then.
      She thought she did, but she thought wrongly that LF was her friend and ally.

      I expect her to be very different by the time LF meets with her again. Definetly no longer that young girl.

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    93. Mihnea: He couldn’t know he would be given the chance to marry Lisa. He simply mentioned the idea couple of times and hopes for the best.

      He convinced her to poison her husband – she even said as much when he returned with Sansa. He always planned to marry her. She expected to marry him That’s his nature. That’s a vast part of this story, realizing that this little weasel was behind the downfall of great families. He couldn’t know for sure what the outcomes of his machinations would be, but he certainly engineered toward every one of those events, using his well-honed knowledge of human nature. Yes, he did plan those things.

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    94. The only thing that I agree with here is that LF should have left someone to check on Sansa. If that someone was a guard, that was visible and in the way, he wouldn’t have lasted long anyway. LF first went off to see Cersie and then back to the Vale, that takes time. As much as we accuse him of having this jet pack, it does take time around Westeros for news to spread, without the use of Ravens.

      If in truth he didn’t realize how bad Ramsey really was, the extent he had already gone to torture and kill innocent people, including women, then he took a risk – he didn’t abandon her to be tortured. And while Sansa does get abused, she was well enough to jump off a wall and survive running through the snow, wading a freezing river and somehow make it to CB (we think). She wasn’t Reek, broken.

      In the show I don’t recall anyone talking to her like “you fool, LF knew exactly what he was doing” “you think LF is going to come and save you? You haven’t been paying attention”. Nothing like that. She could very well still trust and even be grateful to see LF. Especially if he is contrite.

      I swear I have never seen a group of fans who will make stuff up for ANYTHING and everything to make it fit their own mindset of what they want to see regardless of what is shown or has been written like this group. Y’all see hieroglyphics in a pile of direwolf pooh.

      (Yes Wimsey, I know it happen over on TORC and HP too, but not like this)

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    95. Winter is delayed: Sansa starts as a silly girl, then watches all her dreams and fantasies get crushed: the charming prince is a monster, the brave knights abuse her, only the ugly hound and the dwarf defend her. Shae teaches her a few things about the world, and LF mentors her in manipulation.

      And when it seems she is learning/turning to the dark side, she reverts back to being abused again, but we already saw that. That’s not great story telling.

      I’d disagree with it not being great storytelling.

      How do you show that your protagonist has grown and changed as a person? By transplanting them into a similar situation and showing the difference in their actions the second time around.

      How Sansa reacted when she was victimized and abused by Joffrey is vastly different than how she reacted when she was victimized and abused by Ramsay. Under Joffrey, Sansa was completely passive and sat around quietly and meekly waiting for her “knight in shining armor” to save her.

      Her time with Joffrey made her realize that there was no such thing as a knight in shining armor. So when she was under Ramsay’s control, she learned her lesson and became much more proactive in her attempts to escape Ramsay’s control. She reached out to Reek/Theon and enlisted him. She tried to establish alliances. She saw the screw and hid it, then used it to escape her chambers. The Joffrey Sansa would’ve never done any of those.

      Of course she wasn’t completely successful. That would be poor writing. Just because she gained some skills, doesn’t mean she’d immediately master them when faced with a new situation. Joffrey and Ramsay are different kinds of psychopaths — Joffrey is more cruel while Ramsay is more psychotic. Handling those two people required different skill sets. (In other words, if Margaret had tried to use her charms on Ramsay the same way she did on Joffrey, she’d fail utterly as well.)

      Let’s use this analogue. (Warning: Football example coming up!) Let’s use Cam Newton, the current QB of the Carolina Panthers. When he started out, he was the back-up to Tim Tebow at University of Florida. He had to sit on the bench and watch as Tebow led the University of Florida to a national championship. Then he made some mistakes, got involved in a stolen laptop, and had to leave Florida and join a junior college.

      When in junior college, Newton worked on his skills, and became a better quarterback. He was able to lead his junior college to a national championship. (Meanwhile, Tebow won another national title at Florida.) Then he returned to the collegiate level, joined the University of Auburn, and was able to lead Auburn to a national title.

      After that, both Newton and Tebow went to the NFL, which is a whole different level of ballgame compared to college football. Newton immediately struggled with his new team, the Carolina Panthers, while Tebow did better on the Denver Broncos. In Newton’s first season, which was a miserable season, Tebow led his team to the NFL playoffs, won a playoff game, and became a national phenomena.

      If we were to cut this “story” off at this point, people would be saying “What is the point of all of Newton’s development? All of that was for nothing! Tebow is still outclassing him! Tebow is still more successful than Newton! What poor storytelling!”

      And that’s basically where we are right now with Sansa in her story development. But this isn’t the end of the story yet. (And if you follow sports, you’ll know what happened after Newton’s first season. After that first season, Tebow flamed out, got cut, and became a national joke. Newton, meanwhile, continued to work on his skills, and had a breakout season last season, broke records, became the NFL MVP, lead his team to the Super Bowl, and became a national phenomena of his own.) Let’s just say that I suspect this season is going to be Sansa’s breakout season.

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    96. Thronetender,

      He planned to kill Jon Aryn. I agree. But he couldn’t be sure as to how things would unfold after that. Of course he did push events a bit, to happen faster.
      And he offered to marry Lysa, sure but he couldn’t hae been sure Tyrion/Tywin would agree.

      Not to mention he couldn’t have had any clue how things would go with Stannis and Renly.

      He created ”Chaos” and started climbing the ”ladder”, he is a master at this, at a master at improvising and making sure he has his eggs in as many baskets as possible, as he did in S5, but his plan was a big gamble and without a doubt he did a big deal of impovising as things progressed.

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    97. Josh L,

      Holy hell that was great!!

      The only problem is you called that sport were you use your hands to hold a egg ”football”. (European problems.. 😛 )

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    98. Didn’t Littlefinger put Sansa in winterfell to convince Cersei to let him take winterfell with the vale army?

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    99. Mrs. Podrick Payne: give up her claim and legitimize those traitors and murderers?

      exactly !!

      Mihnea: Character evolution isn’t only up, it’s a roller-couster.
      Yes, but you don’t have them repeating their arcs, you invent new things.

      Mihnea: LF doesn’t care about Sansa. She isn’t his love.

      Fully agree, she isn’t, LF learned not to love after that duel with Brandon.

      But Sansa is the key to the North. That he really intends to become Warden of the North is something I refuse to believe, I still hope he was manipulating Cercei. No northerner will ever follow LF. If he could have some claim, maybe by marrying Sansa, I could believe a little more. But having him invade the north, fight the Boltons who would be not only the crown’s appointed wardens, but also legitimized by marry to the Stark heir, and then ask the northerners to submit to this “whore-monger”, that’s a crazy plan.

      Mihnea: Her Vale story simply doesn’t work for TV. Period. No matter how much they tried, they couldn’t have kept a major character in complete isolation and doing absolutly nothing.

      with this I agree (although, this exactly describes Arya’s story 🙂 ), it was forced, but if it was for the greater good of the show..

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    100. Josh L:
      How Sansa reacted when she was victimized and abused by Joffrey is vastly different than how she reacted when she was victimized and abused by Ramsay.Under Joffrey, Sansa was completely passive and sat around quietly and meekly waiting for her “knight in shining armor” to save her.

      Her time with Joffrey made her realize that there was no such thing as a knight in shining armor.So when she was under Ramsay’s control, she learned her lesson and became much more proactive in her attempts to escape Ramsay’s control.She reached out to Reek/Theon and enlisted him.She tried to establish alliances.She saw the screw and hid it, then used it to escape her chambers.The Joffrey Sansa would’ve never done any of those.

      Basically, she mostly caught up to where Book!Sansa was in King’s Landing.

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    101. Mihnea: They couldn’t have [Sansa] sit for 1 season doing nothing. Her Vale story simply doesn’t work for TV. Period. No matter how much they tried, they couldn’t have kept a major character in complete isolation and doing absolutly nothing. Eating Lemoncakes and babysitting little kids simply doesn’t work on TV. There is no conflict, no drama, no suspanse. Nothing.

      Yep, you have perfectly illustrated my thoughts and feelings regarding Sansa’s story and the show’s decision to move her up north to Winterfell.

      1) Sansa’s book Vale story is freaking dull. Oh, she babysits Robin, oh she climbs down a mountain, oh she gossips and flirts! SNOOZE! This would’ve made for terrible TV, and would’ve halted any momentum on the show whenever it was shown. It would’ve made the Dorne plot seem brilliant in comparison.

      2) They were already sitting out Bran for a year (so that his training would happen off-screen, a la Luke Skywalker between Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi). They couldn’t also sit out another major POV. So Sansa had to be in the show in some way and form.

      3) By giving Sansa Jeyne Poole’s story in Winterfell, they solved both problems outlined above. Sansa’s story became more interesting. It became easier to show how Sansa had changed from being passive to being more proactive after her stint in KL. It gave the audience a bigger reason to hate the Boltons. Sansa’s story got conflict, suspense, and drama.

      Yes, it took some leaps of logic to get Sansa out of the Vale and into Winterfell. Maybe the motivation worked for some, maybe it didn’t. It worked for me. I see it as a combination of Sansa’s hubris (she thought she had become a great manipulator after she saved Littlefinger’s neck in the Vale, but the truth is the Vale lords probably suspected exactly what happened and just didn’t give a fuck because Lyssa was so batshit insane), Littlefinger’s overestimation of his own abilities (I do believe Littlefinger had no idea just how dangerous Ramsay really was, for all of the reasons Wimsey already outlined), and Littlefinger’s ambition and overall goals backfiring on Sansa.

      She will learn from her experience with the Boltons, and this will make her a better player of the game. In short, this was her Elizabeth I moment.

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    102. Josh L:
      but the truth is the Vale lords probably suspected exactly what happened and just didn’t give a fuck because Lyssa was so batshit insane

      Nothing suggests that. Even if they didn’t like Lysa (and clearly they didn’t), that’s no reason to throw in with somebody they suspect to be a lowborn murderer.

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    103. Mrs. Podrick Payne: I fully agree. As everybody, including herself, presumed her brothers to be dead, she would be the rightful heir to Winterfell and the North. Why would she agree to marry into the family that killed hers, give up her claim and legitimize those traitors and murderers? Makes absolutely no sense!

      She already “gave up” her claim when she married Tyrion Lannister (who, in her eyes, would’ve been even worse than the Boltons). At least by marrying Ramsay, who belongs to a “lesser house” and is a (legitimated) bastard to boot, it becomes easier for Sansa to maintain control of Winterfell (or so she thought).

      Also, Littlefinger played her abilities up and made her think she could manipulate Ramsay Bolton into doing her bidding. And, let’s be honest, Sansa has never been portrayed as a brilliant mastermind. She’s always been somewhat gullible and idealistic. She actually thought she could talk her way out of consummating her marriage with Ramsay the same way she was able to do so with Tyrion.

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    104. Josh L: She will learn from her experience with the Boltons, and this will make her a better player of the game. In short, this was her Elizabeth I moment.

      Well, at this point, all of the main characters have been reduced to ashes on the show. (Book!Sansa has not had that yet, but I expect it will happen in Winter.) Show!Sansa, just like Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., will be different for it: and Sansa is one character for whom “different” cannot help but to be an improvement! (We might get an answer to the Scarecrow’s song “If she only had a brain…..”)

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    105. Sean C.: Nothing suggests that. Even if they didn’t like Lysa (and clearly they didn’t), that’s no reason to throw in with somebody they suspect to be a lowborn murderer.

      They didn’t throw in with somebody they suspect to be a lowborn murderer. They threw in with a lady of a Great House and the rightful heir to Winterfell.

      (And as an aside, I do think this is one of the few show stumbles that the book did better. At least in the books, there was a victim that Littlefinger and Sansa could point to as Lysa’s murderer.)

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    106. Mihnea,

      But he did have his eyes on the North. His plan to create chaos begins with the North, with getting Starks and Lannisters to turn against one another, starting the war of the five kings. This is why he gets Lysa to murder Arryn, write the letter, etc. Then there’s his obsession with Cat and hence with the northern lord she marries. Given these, it’s inconceivable that he would be unaware of the reputation of the Boltons, the other great family of the North and traditional enemies of the Starks.

      I agree these are all gambles and Littlefinger has been lucky. I agree that no one’s luck lasts forever, but falling because he somehow missed the fact that Ramsay is psycho is silly. Far better option would have been to get Sansa to marry Ramsay after warning her the guy is a sadist. Sansa knows this already; Boltons are partly responsible for the Red Wedding, and they flay their enemies. In this case, Sansa marries him, counting on Ramsay either being on his best behavior, as this marriage is key to his family’s survival, or on Roose controlling his crazy son.

      btw Roose’s refusal to control Ramsay is another ridiculous thing, and this one’s true in both novels and show. It’s actually worse in the novels, as Roose has a bunch of lords getting increasingly antsy because they can see Ramsay torturing little (fake) Arya. Lady Dustin of the novels warns against this, yet Roose, supposedly a brilliant player, does nothing.

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    107. Mihnea,

      Not liking Lysa is not the same thing as deciding, eh, might as well thrown in with this upjumped murderer. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have bothered investigating.

      Josh L,

      Sansa’s season 5 plot works fine if you approach it with the view that she’s a total dunce, yes. But that isn’t how the writers were presenting it. They’ve talked about the whole scheme as if it was a great plan that only didn’t work because Ramsay was a psycho.

      Wimsey: Well, at this point, all of the main characters have been reduced to ashes on the show.(Book!Sansa has not had that yet, but I expect it will happen in Winter.)

      You missed her story in books 1-3 in King’s Landing, then? That was Sansa being reduced to ashes; her time after that has been about rebuilding herself, same with Arya and Bran (well, Bran’s a bit of an odd case in that regard; in some respects he hit his lowest point almost right out of the gate).

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    108. Wimsey: Well, at this point, all of the main characters have been reduced to ashes on the show. (Book!Sansa has not had that yet, but I expect it will happen in Winter.) Show!Sansa, just like Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., will be different for it: and Sansa is one character for whom “different” cannot help but to be an improvement! (We might get an answer to the Scarecrow’s song “If she only had a brain…..”)

      I suspect Sansa’s development is going to start paralleling that of Dany’s … but with less title reciting and whining about where her dragons are.

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    109. Sean C.,

      Or a simple honest mistake on her part.

      But I do know you can’t do this as you see characters as simple robots who have to always pick the choice that has the biggest percentage of having a positive outcome.

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    110. It will be interesting to find out how LF is aware of Sansa’s treatment (hence his atonement quote) and her escape without contacts in the north. Like, how will he know that Sansa needs the Vale troops to begin with? He’s still in the dark about the details of the north, no?

      I am also interested in the logistics of moving an army to WF from the south. Not to get to far ahead, but Moat Cailin is still pretty impregnable from the South, right?

      As long as LF himself doesn’t buy into atonement I can play along, though. That would be a fundamental character break if he truly felt sorry for what he did.

      “I left Sansa married to a psychopath. It’s probably the one time we’ve seen Littlefinger slip up. He really didn’t know about him. He should have.”

      The consensus here is that he should not have known that so I kinda hope these are Aidan’s feelings and not LF’s.

      Edit: I like John’s thought above where he wrote that LF knowing Ramsay was a monster and sent Sansa in anyway is more aligned with his character. My opinion though so feel free to kick the tires.

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    111. maria,

      And yet even the Starks didn’t know about Ramsey. Just like Ned had no idea Roose was raping married women.

      It’s a very simple thing. Ramsey’s ‘escapades” are simply not known by the rest of the North in the show.

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    112. Tycho Nestoris,

      LF always wanted to bring the Vale troops North, he doesn’t bring them there just because Sansa escaped.

      He has a alliance with the Boltons, they will let him trough MC. Roose might have speculated that LF isn’t trustworthy but Ramsey sure as hell won’t.

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    113. Mihnea:
      Or a simple honest mistake on her part.

      That’s not a simple mistake. If there is anything she would have learned from her time in King’s Landing, it’s that it makes no sense to voluntarily hand yourself over to your enemies. Thinking that that was some route to revenge requires her to be far more naive than she was even in Season 1.

      Mihnea:
      He has a alliance with the Boltons, they will let him trough MC. Roose might have speculated that LF isn’t trustworthy but Ramsey sure as hell won’t.

      Why would Ramsay ever let Littlefinger through Moat Cailin when he raped and tortured Littlefinger’s ally to the point of causing her to flee? Littlefinger and Sansa presented themselves as a team/family to outside observers; there would be no reason for Ramsay to think Littlefinger intended to do anything other than help Sansa, particularly as he’s suddenly shown up with an army that was never mentioned in any prior discussions between LF and the Boltons.

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    114. Mrs. Podrick Payne: However, the “plan” itself (vague revenge) is too dumb for LF and that Sansa would agree to it is beyond non-sensical.

      The plan was far from non-sensical. One thing that Sansa had learned from Cersei is that wives can manipulate and control things to their ends, and even bring about the downfalls of hated husbands. The plan was very simple: because Ramsay is a legitimized bastard, he should be easy to manipulate; Sansa manipulates just a bit while Stannis marches on Winterfell. LF leaves it to Sansa and us to fill in the blanks from there. And what LF leaves out is: he rats on the Boltons and gets crown approval to take the war-hungry Vale armies North to finish off whomever survives.

      Of course, LF had no reason to bet that Stannis would fail so utterly. But even there, what really betrayed LF was what betrayed Stannis (and Napoleon and Hitler): winter.

      Now, this might seem like it is not thoroughly laid out. But it could not be: during war, there are just far too many variables. LF (like everyone else) has to rely on his best predictions for what parties over whom he has zero control will do. He is not omniscient: but he is pretty good at going with the most probable outcome. But, then, it usually is more probable that one of three or four less probable outcomes will happen than the most probable one. (E.g., the most probable roll of two fair dice is 7: but you probably will not roll a 7.) LF always bets on 7: the dice do not always produce 7.

      People seem to think that there are other “easy” options for Sansa, but there are not. There is no magical army of loyal northerners just waiting hidden somewhere to rally behind Sansa or any other Stark, sort of like the army that magically appears for Arthur at the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It would take years for Sansa to rally one: if they would follow a woman, and if they want anything more to do with Starks at this point. The alternative is to get her foot in the door now while there is an opening: because there might not ever be another opening.

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    115. Sean C.: Sansa’s season 5 plot works fine if you approach it with the view that she’s a total dunce, yes. But that isn’t how the writers were presenting it. They’ve talked about the whole scheme as if it was a great plan that only didn’t work because Ramsay was a psycho.

      Eh, I think it’s a combination of both. The plan itself was a good plan, assuming that Ramsay Bolton would’ve behaved the way a typical recently-legitimated bastard should’ve acted. (Think of it this way, imagine if somebody similar to Jon Snow was placed in Ramsay’s place.) Unfortunately, no one accounted for how sheer psychotic Ramsay was.

      In addition to that, Sansa is terrible at improvising. She had only one good moment (her “Dark Sansa” moment in Season 4, with a bunch of Vale lords who were probably all too willing to play along with the charade as long as it got rid of insane Lady Lysa and gave them plausible deniability), and she mistook that one moment to mean that she had leveled up (when, in fact, all that happened was she gained one point in a weak stat skill).

      What frustrated fans so much, I believe, is that they thought Sansa had actually “Leveled Up” when she didn’t. (To be blame, I do fault the PR team, as they definitely played up the “Dark Sansa” moment and made it seem like Sansa would be a major player in Season 5.) She did, however, learn from her experiences in KL and handled things much differently in Winterfell, becoming more proactive in her escape. Don’t worry. Her major “Level Up” moment is likely coming this season.

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    116. Sean C.,

      At this rate will only keep going in eternal circles..

      I always keep telling myself not to comment to you, especially on Sansa, but eventually I do…
      I guess because you are more polite then Chad…

      Let’s just agree to disagree.

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    117. Sean C.: If there is anything she would have learned from her time in King’s Landing, it’s that it makes no sense to voluntarily hand yourself over to your enemies.

      Sansa learned a much more important and relevant lesson in Kings Landing: a wife can manipulate a husband that she views as an enemy into his own destruction.

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    118. Wimsey,

      There is no magical army of loyal northerners just waiting hidden somewhere to rally behind Sansa or any other Stark

      This reminds me of a magical/undead army that a certain ranger king picks up last minute.

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    119. Wimsey:
      People seem to think that there are other “easy” options for Sansa, but there are not.There is no magical army of loyal northerners just waiting hidden somewhere to rally behind Sansa or any other Stark, sort of like the army that magically appears for Arthur at the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.It would take years for Sansa to rally one: if they would follow a woman, and if they want anything more to do with Starks at this point.The alternative is to get her foot in the door now while there is an opening: because there might not ever be another opening.

      Er, how about the army of the Vale, which is ruled over by her cousin and a bunch of lords whose support she has at that point? The one that Littlefinger himself is bringing North, evidently on no further prompt than to rescue her?

      The notion that going to Winterfell to become a Bolton hostage (and yes, that’s what she would be; Sansa would know that from King’s Landing) is a more sensible and direct route to power than trying to rally the Northern loyalists is highly, highly implausible. That the Northerners would rally to Sansa is the whole reason the Boltons want her in the first place.

      Wimsey:
      Sansa learned a much more important and relevant lesson in Kings Landing: a wife can manipulate a husband that she views as an enemy into his own destruction.

      That would again require her to be a dunce, because she was Tyrion’s wife in King’s Landing, and knows that that means nothing when you are an enemy hostage. She further knows the Boltons are her enemies, and that they know that (which is why the plan is stupid even if Ramsay wasn’t a psycho; a sensible fellow like Roose would have simply kept her under tight guard and prevented her from doing anything). Cersei was Robert’s wife, but the Baratheons and Lannisters were allies.

      Also, of course, Sansa never makes any attempt to ingratiate herself with or manipulate Ramsay. Instead she sulks and makes perfectly clear that she doesn’t like him.

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    120. Tycho Nestoris:
      Whoa. So LF enters the north via the Bolton alliance then turns on Ramsay? That’s something I will ponder over.

      Well, LF basically tells Sansa that Stannis is coming and then tacitly tells her that Stannis will probably defeat the Boltons. LF then tells Cersei that the Boltons have betrayed Kings Landing by finding and marrying Sansa, and that Stannis is marching on Winterfell: he will go defeat whoever wins.

      So, it seems that his plan all along was to install Sansa in Winterfell, hope that she can do to the Boltons what Cersei did to the Baratheons, and then take Winterfell from whichever side survives the carnage. What his intentions are at that point: Loki only knows.

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    121. Tycho Nestoris,

      The lord will be in open Rebellion. Ramsey will need help.
      Let’s not forget that LF, by having Sansa and giving her to the Boltons, he also broke his alliance with the Crown.

      He may thnk LF finally shows the Crown his true intentions and Ramsey might think they are in this together now.

      Anyway, LF can easly and should easly manipulate Ramsey.

      Or hell Ramsey doesn’t have a army south at MC because he will need it at WF, to fight the rebellion.

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    122. Sean C.: Er, how about the army of the Vale, which is ruled over by her cousin and a bunch of lords whose support she has at that point? The one that Littlefinger himself is bringing North, evidently on no further prompt than to rescue her?

      Why would the Vale do that in open defiance of the Crown? They do not like the Lannisters, and it’s pretty clear that they would have joined the war against them: but they are not going to start one on their own.

      What LF has done is manipulate it to the point where the Vale lords know that they can do this with Cersei’s blessing: and that only happened because LF put Sansa in Winterfell. Now, they can go “save” Sansa while the Lannisters, Tyrells and others think that they are going to bring her to justice and eradicate the enemies of the Throne.

      So, a Vale Army led by Sansa is rebellion; a Vale Army sent because Sansa is in Winterfell is pulling the wool over Cersei’s eyes.

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    123. Mihnea: Or hell Ramsey doesn’t have a army south at MC because he will need it at WF, to fight the rebellion.

      Ramsey will pull his forces north because of the Wildlings.

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    124. Chad Brick,

      Using your logic, which is indeed great logic, we would have to assume Ramsey’s father was raping and abusing Walda. Which, obviously was not the case. She was only too happy to provide an heir for him. No one would suspect a new bride, especially one that will provide him the notoriety that he needed, to b we raped and tortured. But, Littlefinger is still a douche. Lol

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    125. Wimsey,

      Ramsey will pull his forces north because of the Wildlings.

      Leaving Moat Cailin completely undefended does seems like a mistake though, right? I mean he’s gotta leave some archers and a small garrison, right? He’s gotta think the Lannisters are coming eventually and losing MC would be disastrous to that.

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    126. Josh L:
      She did, however, learn from her experiences in KL and handled things much differently in Winterfell, becoming more proactive in her escape.Don’t worry.Her major “Level Up” moment is likely coming this season.

      To the extent that her time in Winterfell and role in her escape constituted progress, it’s only because the show cut her escape storyline in King’s Landing, which the Winterfell plot mirrors quite markedly. So she’s basically where Book!Sansa was by the midpoint of ASOS, in terms of capability.

      I imagine the show is going to play her as having “leveled up”. But Season 5 didn’t really do anything to earn that moment. Okay, if you take the view that she’s a bad game player, what happened in Season 5 that would change that? All she did was fail utterly, and barely even tried to begin with, since she made no effort to manipulate Ramsay once she agreed to go there.

      Wimsey: Why would the Vale do that in open defiance of the Crown?They do not like the Lannisters, and it’s pretty clear that they would have joined the war against them: but they are not going to start one on their own.

      What LF has done is manipulate it to the point where the Vale lords know that they can do this with Cersei’s blessing: and that only happened because LF put Sansa in Winterfell.Now, they can go “save” Sansa while the Lannisters, Tyrells and others think that they are going to bring her to justice and eradicate the enemies of the Throne.

      So, a Vale Army led by Sansa is rebellion; a Vale Army sent because Sansa is in Winterfell is pulling the wool over Cersei’s eyes.

      As far as why they’d do it, that’d be something to work on, y’know, if you were an aspiring game player.

      As for the idea that Cersei’s blessing is some sort of game changer for the Vale’s participation, no, that doesn’t work, because they’ll still be in open defiance of the Crown once they don’t hand Sansa over. All that does is slightly postpone it. If they were refusing to openly defy the Crown, they would still say no. Beyond which, the Vale is impregnable, as repeatedly pointed out; there isn’t much the Crown could do about it.

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    127. Mihnea,

      It just seems like a good idea to leave some kind of force there. Maybe the Lannisters don’t attack but Ramsay still has to know that losing MC to anyone (LF even) would be a very precarious position.

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    128. Tycho Nestoris,

      I doubt Ramsey will see that threat, he isn’t his father. He will be far to busy with the Wildlings and rebellion.

      Why would MC matter when you are in risk of loosing WF.

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    129. Mihnea,

      I don’t see much threat in Ramsay losing WF. I think it’s possible he could lose it from within if he meets Jon on the field. But if he stays within the walls how can the wildlings hurt him?

      Something that hasn’t really been discussed is the weather. Sure the snowstorm ended but it’s gotta be getting pretty treacherous out there provision wise (plus I think winter is still coming). It’s the whole, “I am up here and you are down there.” Couldn’t Ramsay just bar the doors and freeze/starve them (Jon and the wildlings) out?

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    130. Tycho Nestoris,

      Like Roose wanted to do with Stannis?

      Ramsey isn’t that kind of person. He wanted to defeat Stannis in battle, he would, without a doubt want to beat the Wildings and rebels on the field, especially that now he is the Warden of the North and most likely he will want to project power. Letting a rebellion siege you, won’t do that.

      You are thinking what is the most logical and safe option. This is a mistake, in my opinion, because you don’t consider the characters involved.

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    131. I consider the the characers 🙂 I guess I just thought Ramsay would see leverage where it is. He’s on full bloodlust though so he’s irrational. I won’t complain though, Jon wouldn’t stand a chance if Ramsay stayed home and just demanded Sansa back for Rickon.

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    132. Wimsey,

      Manipulate Ramsay to what end? Couldn’t she just wait out the Bolton-Stannis fight from a safe distance? Her claim’s legitimacy to Winterfell supercedes Roose’s, a traitor to his liege, by a mile. By agreeing to LF’s plan the she has united her house to said treacherous house and given it her claim in a silver platter.

      As I said before, it’s done and nothing will change that season 5 story. Just hoping to see her in season 6 retaking Winterfell and restoring the Starks in the North while Ramsay becomes either Ghost’s meal or pig feed. I also wonder if that Stark-Bolton union will have repercussions as to her standing with the northern houses.

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    133. Sean C.: To the extent that her time in Winterfell and role in her escape constituted progress, it’s only because the show cut her escape storyline in King’s Landing, which the Winterfell plot mirrors quite markedly. So she’s basically where Book!Sansa was by the midpoint of ASOS, in terms of capability.

      Maybe that’s why D&D decided to cut out the whole Ser Dantos subplot from Sansa’s stay in KL? They knew early on that they wanted to send Sansa to Winterfell instead of having her putter around in the Vale babysitting Robin. They also knew that if they had Sansa be more proactive in escaping from KL (like she was in the books) then her story in Winterfell would be redundant since presumably they wanted Sansa to be at the same point in character development at the end of S5 that she was at the end of Book 5.

      At least the show way gave Sansa a slow but steady character growth arc. Whereas in the books Sansa’s character growth developed faster, but then was put on the backburner while she sat around doing nothing for entire novels.

      I think I prefer how the show did it.

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    134. Josh L:
      Maybe that’s why D&D decided to cut out the whole Ser Dantos subplot from Sansa’s stay in KL?

      They cut it, per their own explanation, because they wanted to create work for more regular characters and make everything to do with the Purple Wedding a surprise. Sansa’s character development was collateral damage.

      At least the show way gave Sansa a slow but steady character growth arc. Whereas in the books Sansa’s character growth developed faster, but then was put on the backburner while she sat around doing nothing for entire novels.

      Sansa’s AFFC material is certainly quieter, but I don’t really think moving all her development out of KL constitutes an improvement. The result is that her time in KL is a complete writeoff (which is especially ironic since the writers also mostly excise her time in the Vale and mentorship with Littlefinger, so after losing most of her KL growth she doesn’t get her book training arc and is dumped back into a KL-type situation almost immediately).

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    135. Mrs. Podrick Payne,

      The main thing the marriage does is turn Cersei against the Boltons. Cersei might not be able to send her own men after them, but she can send Littlefinger with the Vale. Everyone realizes at this point that Cersei’s authority is nominal, but she is still the queen, and her okay gives Littlefinger an additional hold over the Vale…I think.

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    136. Mihnea:
      Mihnea,

      Too expend a bit on S5 as well. If she would have grown enough, she would have taken Brienne at the Inn.

      But she put, once again, her faith in LF. She did start a bit to grow, but she was outplayed by LF. Her trusting him to that degree simply shows she didn’t really grow back then.
      She thought she did, but she thought wrongly that LF was her friend and ally.

      I expect her to be very different by the time LF meets with her again. Definetly no longer that young girl.

      I disagree here, just like in the books, her reason for not leaving with the Hound was two fold, first he was drunk and belligerent

      and lets not forget the dagger to her throat

      and two from what she knew Stannis was at the gates, she felt he would win.
      At the inn, Pod tells Brienne they are outnumbered; but she sends him to get horses as she strolls up to Sansa and swear her loyalty. She is totally ignoring the fact that there are 2 or 3 Vale men behind her and more outside of camera shot and LF is there and I believe his dagger is on him, though not shown, she is inches from Sansa and no room to draw that sword let alone time without hurting Sansa.
      Now comes the part people will argue but my interpretation was proven out 3 days after that episode; I interpret that scene when Sansa said ” and sometimes we do, you should leave” and gave a quick side glance to behind Brienne to suggest your in trouble , surrounded, get out now.
      Some people agreed with me many more did not, but 3 days later Gwen Christy was asked about that scene and she told the reporter that her script had a notation “Sansa is telling Brienne to get out of Dodge” not only did Pod know Brienne was in a bad situation but so did Sansa.
      So here is another brain fart on the writers, they write Sansa as understanding of that situation; then 2 weeks ago they have her say she made a mistake not leaving with Brienne at the inn???
      She makes progress in understanding situations, then pull the rug out with inconsistent writing later.

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    137. I am the Storm,

      Littlefinger? NOOOO!
      He’s a perv. He was the one who fed Roz to Joffrey, so I don’t believe he didn’t know about Ramsay. I think he knew and it suited his purposes to further his own schemes. Hopefully Sansa is onto him and never trusts him again.
      The show needs villains, and he’s one I really want to see suffer after he makes me cringe a bit more!

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    138. GrailKing: So here is another brain fart on the writers, they write Sansa as understanding of that situation; then 2 weeks ago they have her say she made a mistake not leaving with Brienne at the inn???

      How is that a “Brain Fart?” People routinely say months or years after the fact that they made a mistake deciding to do something. Often times their reasoning at their time was perfectly sensible, and it was events that they could not foresee or control that made the decision go bad.

      It also is very much human tendency to forget the reasons why something seemed like a bad idea at the time. In particular, Sansa now knows that Brienne can really handle herself in a fight: and after Sansa watching Brienne and Pod (and mostly Brienne) kill the Bolton men, the idea of Brienne taking on the Vale guardsmen suddenly seems less ludicrous than it did several months earlier. Sansa’s understanding of the situation then was that Brienne was badly outnumbered and that LF would have those guardsmen kill Brienne. Sansa new understanding is that perhaps Brienne would have survived. That probably is seeing it through rose-colored glasses: the odds were against Brienne, and they would have been more so if Sansa had been with her. But what Sansa says is something that many people would say and even believe then and there.

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    139. Mand: so I don’t believe he didn’t know about Ramsay.

      People can assert that all they like, but except for fantastic scenarios, there is no indication of how LF would know about Ramsay if Robb Stark did not know about Ramsay.

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    140. Sean C.: Sansa’s character development was collateral damage.

      ?? Dontos did not develop Book!Sansa’s character save perhaps in one small way. It told us what we already knew: that when in doubt, Book!Sansa asks: “what did they do in a fairy tale?” That was established in the first book: so this told us nothing new about her in the 2nd and 3rd book.

      Now, you could argue that this develops Sansa as a static character – and stasis obviously is as much of an evolutionary pattern as some trend – and you would not be wrong. However, Show!Sansa already has evolved past that: I seem to recall that she’d already gotten to the point where she acknowledged that there were not any truths in them. So, it would have been a reversal for her to then follow a plan simply because someone asserted that he was acting like a knight from a fairy tale!

      So, what this did was hasten slightly the evolution of Sansa’s character to a non-thinking believer to a non-thinking non-believer. She now has gotten to non-believing thinker, and is going through the trial-and-error pains of learning to think.

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    141. Wimsey,

      For that inn scene, I think the writers screwed up at the later talk scene in the woods, if they changed some words, to if I knew…, I may have left but to say she was wrong not to leave, nah, as good as a fighter Brienne is, in such a close quarter it would have been a bad call; not a tough choice as Brienne said later.

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    142. Wimsey:
      ??Dontos did not develop Book!Sansa’s character save perhaps in one small way.It told us what we already knew: that when in doubt, Book!Sansa asks: “what did they do in a fairy tale?”That was established in the first book: so this told us nothing new about her in the 2nd and 3rd book.

      That’s entirely wrong. The Dontos plot gives Sansa a role in her escape and is a huge part of every choice she makes in the second and third books; whereas the show character mostly just sits around doing nothing and has no role in her escape. They’re her first real steps in taking an active part. And Sansa doesn’t follow Dontos just because he compares himself to Florian. She’s aware he’s kind of a sorry sort; but she decides it’s worth the risk, since nobody else is offering to help her. Songs and her love of fiction are also part of how Sansa talks herself into being brave and taking the risks that she has to take.

      Sansa was not at all a static character in KL in the books. Geographically static, maybe, but she developed quite a bit. In the show, yes, she was quite static, because the writers cut most of her development (particularly in Season 3).

      People have been touting her role in her escape in Season 5 as some huge development for the character. My point was, book!Sansa already did all that in books 2 and 3; the whole plot with the Old Lady is basically the same as the Dontos plot, except that in the show Sansa also gets the Dontos equivalent killed. So if you’re of the opinion that Dontos didn’t develop Sansa’s character, than neither did her actions in Season 5.

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    143. Wimsey: People can assert that all they like, but except for fantastic scenarios, there is no indication of how LF would know about Ramsay if Robb Stark did not know about Ramsay.

      Robb was a naive teenager who played the reaction game and didn’t listen to his advisors. All LF does is listen and proactively manipulate. It is not such a stretch for him to have more than a glimpse of what dysfunction existed surrounding the Dreadfort over the years.

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    144. This has been mentioned before, but I will say it again. In Episode 3 of Season 1, Littlefinger reveals that it is Varys who told him Cat was coming down to Kings Landing and that he didn’t know himself. One would expect him to be paying a lot more attention to Cat then some random bastard, so I don’t know why people think it is a stretch at all that he didn’t know about Ramsay’s behaviour

      Both Littlefinger and Varys have been shown to be fallible. It would be completely pointless if they were both omnipotent, and would make the story that little less special.

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    145. Wylie,

      Why do these parts of his character need to be mutually exclusive? He is a power-hungry individual AND he has a soft spot for Catelyn and her eldest daughter. That is abundantly clear in the show. Which facet of his character is dominant is another question. Will LF allow his soft spot for Sansa to get in the way of his broader designs? Most likely not. And certainly not with his Bolton wedding move (as even though he didn’t know about Ramsay, he forced Sansa to do something she didn’t want to do, and knew there was some risk involved). But now that he knows how brutal Ramsay was to her, his soft spot for her may rise to the surface a bit. Though I suspect he will still place his greater ambition above his infatuation, if he is presented with a stark choice (pun intended). It’s just that until they stark choice presents itself, he doesn’t have to make it. He can align his grand strategy with his emotional interest in Sansa.

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    146. Jon:
      Calling it right now- shaggydead is not dead. The head was dipped in tar to look like his.

      The head was too small, and his fur was smooth and shiny- not oily!!!

      I don’t know whether or not you’re joking, but I am glad I’m not the only one who thought the head was tiny. Remember the head of Grey Wind stitched onto Robb Stark’s body? It was gigantic.

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    147. This comment thread is amusing. People who don’t want characters to be 1 dimensional are laughing off the idea that LF can be anything but.

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