What's Happening

Troperville

Tools

collapse/expand topics back to Characters/ASongOfIceAndFireHouseStark

 

Lacey
topic
09:14:05 AM Apr 28th 2014
I would like to start a discussion about how accurate a few tropes/descriptions under Sansa's entry are accurate.

I do not believe the Nice Girl trope fits the character. While Sansa is far from evil, she also isn't particularly nice. Her narrative from start to finish includes negative and sometimes cruel thoughts about other characters, even ones who haven't done her any wrong. A few examples:

Sansa on Morros Slynt: I hope he falls and shames himself, she thought bitterly. I hope Ser Balon kills him. — ACOK

Sansa on Tyrion: He is so ugly, Sansa thought when his face was close to hers. He is even uglier than the Hound. — ASOS

Sansa on Robert Arryn, who suffers from an illness: They led the boy away. My lord husband, Sansa thought, as she contemplated the ruins of Winterfell. The snow had stopped, and it was colder than before. She wondered if Lord Robert would shake all through their wedding. At least Joffrey was sound of body. — ASOS

Sansa on the Lords Declarant: She could see the towers and keeps of the Gates of the Moon, as small as a child's toys. Around the walls the hosts of Lords Declarant were stirring, emerging from their tents like ants from an anthill. If only they were truly ants, she thought, we could step on them and crush them. — AFFC

Again, she's not evil and she doesn't owe these characters anything, but someone with ableist and classist ideals who is often criticizing those around her in her thoughts isn't exactly nice. If they were, then the trope would apply to nearly every single character except the truly evil.

There is also a claim that Sansa based her Alayne Stone identity on Jon Snow. This hasn't been supported by anything in the text and seems to be more conjecture/theorizing.If I'm wrong, maybe actual canon evidence where Sansa thinks/says this would be helpful.

Another entry that's under debate is the Lack of Empathy trope description. Right now it says this:

  • Lack of Empathy: Her admitting to a startling lack of feeling towards seeing death for the first time in A Game of Thrones is either an odd case of this and/or Hidden Depths — despite being a complete Princess Classic, she also has the same innate toughness as the rest of her family.
    • Averted for the most part. She's one of the few people in King's Landing that isn't willing to throw anyone else under the bus to get ahead. She even shows empathy for people who are actively malicious toward her, such as crying when Joffrey was killed. She also rescues Ser Dontos and takes care of Lancel and frightened women during the Battle of Blackwater simply because they were scared.

This seems to be filled with conjecture and fan analysis. It also has inaccurate examples attempting to refute the trope. No where in the text does it show that Sansa is unwilling to throw someone under the bus. By the time we get to AFFC, she is throwing her cousin under the bus for the sake of her and Littlefinger's plans.

The example of her crying over Joffrey is also misleading. Here is the passage:

"Joffrey was dead, he was dead, he was dead, dead, dead. Why was she crying, when she wanted to dance? Were they tears of joy? She found her clothes where she had hidden them, the night before last. With no maids to help her, it took her longer than it should have to undo the laces of her gown. Her hands were strangely clumsy, though she was not as frightened as she ought to have been. "The gods are cruel to take him so young and handsome, at his own wedding feast," Lady Tanda had said to her. The gods are just, thought Sansa. Robb had died at a wedding feast as well. It was Robb she wept for. Him and Margaery. Poor Margaery, twice wed and twice widowed." — ASOS

It's made clear that she's happy Joffrey is dead (rightly so) and is crying for Robb and Margaery, not him. So the entry is inaccurate and I don't understand why it was edited back onto the page.

I feel that this version of the entry would better illustrate how Sansa fits that trope:

  • Lack of Empathy: She doesn't have any sympathy for Mycah when Joffrey starts cutting his face. Later, she admits to a startling lack of feeling towards seeing death for the first time in A Game of Thrones. She also doesn't have sympathy for Robert Arryn, her ill cousin, who she wishes she could slap around, criticizes as inferior to Joffrey because of his disability, and is slowly poisoning to help advance Littlefinger's plots.
    • Averted during other parts of the series when she helps others. She rescues Ser Dontos when Joffrey attempts to murder him and takes care of frightened women during the Battle of Blackwater simply because they were scared. She also helps Lancel Lannister when he's wounded during the battle, even though he is one of her enemies.

This gives a fuller picture on how she fits the trope with canon examples, while also acknowledging parts of the story where she averts the trope. The fan speculation is also removed.

Also, I don't believe we can use a fan discussion thread as evidence, the way C Ray did in an edit comment. We should be using canon and keeping the WMG to the the WMG pages or fan discussion boards.
CRay
09:20:23 AM Apr 29th 2014
edited by 92.209.183.232
So... Sansa is not a Nice Girl in your opinion. Okay, let's discuss it then.

Sansa on Morros Slynt: I hope he falls and shames himself, she thought bitterly. I hope Ser Balon kills him.

Well, this might be correct, actually. She isn't thinking fondly of House Slynt, more specifically, Janos, who was one of the people responsible for hacking her father's head off. I guess her hatred towards Morros is not justified, not truly.

Sansa on Tyrion: He is so ugly, Sansa thought when his face was close to hers. He is even uglier than the Hound.

First of all, let's be honest: Tyrion is ugly for human standards. This is not just an opinion, it's a fact he admits himself and Sansa isn't the first POV character who pointed that out, either. Second, you're ignoring the context. She is forced to marry him at that moment, for God's sake. She does not find him attractive at all and she has every right to think that, as she is supposed to share his bed at the end of the day. This hardly counters her being a nice girl.

People tend to say that Sansa seems to hate Tyrion, but she acknowledges the fact that he didn't rape her or overall treat her poorly, she is thankful for it. She says he was kind to her and he is innocent of murdering Joffrey, but she simply couldn't trust him for being a Lannister and Sansa was totally right. Tyrion disliked his father, sister and Joffrey, but he was loyal to them.

Sansa on Robert Arryn, who suffers from an illness: They led the boy away. My lord husband, Sansa thought, as she contemplated the ruins of Winterfell. The snow had stopped, and it was colder than before. She wondered if Lord Robert would shake all through their wedding. At least Joffrey was sound of body. ASOS

Sansa is about to get thrown into another forced marriage. She does comfort Robert and shows concern for him. When she lied, she did so, so she would not harm him (and conveniently not die admittedly), or at least that is what she's telling herself...

Sansa on the Lords Declarant: She could see the towers and keeps of the Gates of the Moon, as small as a child's toys. Around the walls the hosts of Lords Declarant were stirring, emerging from their tents like ants from an anthill. If only they were truly ants, she thought, we could step on them and crush them. AFFC

Again, ignoring context. The Lords Declarant are threatening the Eyrie and Littlefinger with hosts and try to starve them out. I'm a pacifist, but that doesn't automatically make me not beat someone to death if this other person threatens to kill me.

Or I can actually say this is not truly Sansa anymore, but Alayne, though this does seem a bit cheap imo.

As it was described, her being a Nice Girl starts to be more clear once her father's head was taken off. Besides the other occurences that were listed, there are plenty of scenes during her imprisonment where she treats others well. When Myrcella is leaving King's Landing, Sansa tries to defend Tommen crying, when Joffrey orders him to stop, for instance. She takes care of Lancel, her enemy, and she is very worried about Margaery since she became Joffrey's new betrothed. While we're at it, Sansa even almost shows pity towards Marillion and must actively stop herself from doing that, since he almost raped her and helped Lysa in almost killing her.

Another example, Sansa doesn't look at Lollys Stokeworth the way others look at her. She treats Lollys with respect. If you want to counter that, yes, I'm aware Sansa thinks she's dull and placid, but that's nothing compared to the other people who call her things like lackwit, dimwit, diminish her mental capacity and insult her looks. There are scenes with Lollys that show clearly how nice Sansa actually is, as unlike the rest of Lollys' family who treats her harshly even though the girl is clearly traumatized, Sansa talks gently to her and doesn't make any bad comment about her mental capacity, instead thinking she feels sick since she is pregnant.

About the Lack of Empathy issue:

Now that I think about it, neither description is fitting. But I wanna talk about your suggestion.

She doesn't have any sympathy for Mycah when Joffrey starts cutting his face. Later, she admits to a startling lack of feeling towards seeing death for the first time in A Game of Thrones. She also doesn't have sympathy for Robert Arryn, her ill cousin, who she wishes she could slap around, criticizes as inferior to Joffrey because of his disability, and is slowly poisoning to help advance Littlefinger's plots.

First of all, she is angry with Robert because he wanted an arm, when she offered a hand. He was starting to annoy her.

Now here's the thing. You, and whoever wrote the other description to avert Sansa's lack of empathy, are mixing up things. Except for the part where she is admitting a lack of feeling, there is no example in your suggestion (maybe the comparison between Robert and Joffrey) that says "she lacks empathy". Empathy and sympathy are not the same thing.

I might as well use other characters to elaborate. What Tyrion does for Jon and Bran is showing empathy, as he knows what it feels like to be socially or physically limited. He knows how a bastard and outcast feels like and offers advice and help for both of them. What Maester Aemon did is showing empathy, when he talked to Jon in Game of Thrones as no one else knew better what it means when your vows are tested, when you have to decide between your love (and/or family) and your duty. Jon learns to be empathetic towards his fellow brothers when Donal Noye has a talk with Jon and afterwards drops his arrogant lordling behavior. He learns to be empathetic towards the free folk after riding with them and spending time with Ygritte, who constantly reminded him how little he actually knows. Jon had to learn to be more humble and show empathy towards others and all these people shaped him into a capable leader, who in the end was unfortunately almost always misunderstood.

Sansa can show sympathy a lot, but outstanding is her empathy which is shaped by her experiences in King's Landing. A notable contrast to Arya, who is also traumatized by what she sees during her journey and in response starts to lose her emotions and her ability to feel for and with others (though this might happen with Alayne, too).

Sansa knows how it feels like to part with someone you care about, to be scared (to death), to see someone you loved, and loved you in return, die in front of you, she has an idea of what a horrible experience rape must be and was a prisoner who was humiliated and violated by Joffrey in front of everyone. Sansa knows what it feels like to be alone.

All of this is the reason why she can understand the other characters she feels sorry for. She feels with them. Dontos was humiliated, Tommen felt sad, Lollys was raped, maybe almost killed, and was treated harshly, Sandor was lonely, scared and hurt, so were the other women during the siege scared. She probably knew and understood how Tyrion felt, when Joffrey mistreated him, too.

Also, I don't believe we can use a fan discussion thread as evidence.

Honestly, if you are referring to me mentioning the Pawn to Player reread project, I must wonder if you even read a single page because it's not just fan speculation. There is textual evidence that is discussed, the same way you and I are discussing these tropes here by showing evidence from the books.

There is also a claim that Sansa based her Alayne Stone identity on Jon Snow. This hasn't been supported by anything in the text and seems to be more conjecture/theorizing. If I'm wrong, maybe actual canon evidence where Sansa thinks/says this would be helpful.

Not everything needs to be spelled out, does it? It's not like George Martin has to point out all the foreshadowing or the references to history and Greek mythology in the books, either. We might as well remove any parts in here that hint at Jon possibly being Lyanna and Rhaegar's child because no one in the books has said so, as of right now.

As it is mentioned, the Big Brother Worship is very subtle so this is obviously based on how one interpretes her relationship with Jon and how Alayne is portrayed. But as I mentioned before, it's common practice when making up new identities or new people to base them on people you actually know so you won't forget what you said and later contradict with something you said. (Yes, I picked that up from someone who studied criminology actually and this is fiction, so George might not have intended that at all and I could be completely wrong.)

There are signs that can be interpreted like the way the one, who said Alayne is based on Jon, did. I do not remember details anymore besides Sansa knowing no other bastards besides Jon, Alayne being the same age Jon was when he left (14) and the fact that Alayne supposedly doesn't like dancing, something every proper lady should like, including Sansa, yet the reader learns in A Dance with Dragons that Jon can't dance and doesn't like to do it.

Admittedly, it's largely interpretation and there is no thought in Alayne's chapters where it says "what would Jon do in this situation?", so her positively looking up to Jon the way her other siblings did is hard to prove, which probably comes with the fact that the two of them don't have scenes where they interact outside of flashbacks. She does say in her last chapter that she hadn't thought of Jon for ages (consciously), though we all know Alayne/Sansa is an Unreliable Narrator and when Sansa prayed for her family, she included Jon.
Larkmarn
09:41:07 AM Apr 29th 2014
I don't think Sansa really qualifies as a Nice Girl. She's a decent human being, which, in this setting is pretty damn rare, but I don't think enough to qualify for Nice Girl.
Lacey
03:15:18 PM Apr 29th 2014
edited by 168.156.70.25
C Ray, you haven't given any reasons for how Sansa fits Nice Girl, how she doesn't fit Lack of Empathy, or on how she has patterned her new identity after Jon. You've given more explanation/context for why she thinks poorly of those around her, but none of that means she fits the trope. It also doesn't help that you repeatedly bring other characters into the discussion as a way to make Sansa look better by comparison. She should be able to fit these tropes on her own.

She still belittles others in her thoughts based on their physical appearance and in her cousin's case, his disability. I could also add the fact that she continues to think poorly of Arya for not being able to conform even though she believes Arya is dead at the time. Your own example of her thinking poorly of Lollys (a woman who was gang raped and before that was at a disadvantage in their culture due to her status as an old maid, her poor physical appearance, and her lack of intelligence) further cements the fact that Sansa doesn't fit this trope. And when she does interact with Lollys, it is made clear that she would rather avoid them, but has to talk to them because they are in her way and it would be impolite not to speak to them.

There is no excuse for her ableist views on Robert Arryn, especially since he has no control over who he is betrothed to. As for the Lords Declarant, you're right that it was when Sansa was becoming Alayne Stone. But the Lords Declarant weren't out to hurt her. They were after Littlefinger and wanted to free Robert Arryn from him.

I agree with Larkmarn that Sansa is a decent human being, especially by the standards of other characters. But that doesn't mean this trope should be listed under her entry when it doesn't fit.

With Lack of Empathy, her own quote establishes that she does fit the trope. But no quotes have been put forth to establish that she averts the trope. You're making connections to abuse she's suffered and the abuses others have suffered, but not presenting quotes that specifically show that she is empathizing with others, not just sympathizing. Maybe we should compromise and reduce the Lack of Empathy example to just including her lack of feeling in response to the death of knight without any fan deduction.

As for Sansa patterning Alayne after Jon, yes, we need solid examples. Just as with the theory that Jon's parents are Lyanna and Rhaegor or that those two had a consensual relationship, all theories should be left to WMG pages or fan message boards. If there is any place where Sansa/Alayne thinks of how she is basing her identity after Jon, then it would be great if someone could please bring it over. But if not, maybe the big brother worship entry could mention how she starts to develop a bit of that with Jon when she thinks of them both as being bastards now and wishes she could see him again.
Synchronicity
10:00:45 PM May 1st 2014
I'm the one who added the original Nice Girl entry, and after giving it some thought I'd say Sansa's definitely a good person by the standards of her horrible ableist sexist etc etc society, and she's definitely still decent by modern standards, but not "nice" enough to be considered Nice Girl.
Synchronicity
topic
06:23:04 AM Dec 6th 2012
Should we change Sansa's and Jon's quotes to something they themselves said, for uniformity? Doesn't help that these quotes are mitigating their statuses as classic fantasy hero and heroine. I'm thinking of that porcelain, ivory, steel quote for Sansa.
back to Characters/ASongOfIceAndFireHouseStark

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy