Sansa is talking to Jeyne over dinner. She is shocked that Eddard did not send Loras after Gregor because it would be just like in the songs and stories. She had been saying as much to Septa Mordane at court earlier, and Petyr came up to her and told her that life was not a song and that she may find this out to her regret. Yoren had also been at court, and Eddard gave him leave to choose men from the dungeons for the Night’s Watch. The next morning, she wakes up early to watch Lord Beric’s party ride off, with Alyn carrying the Stark banner. Afterward, she joins Arya and Septa Mordane for breakfast. Sansa explains to Arya what is happening with Gregor, and Arya says she wishes someone would kill Jaime and Sandor for their murders. Sansa repeats her lie that Mycah attacked Joffrey, and Arya throws an orange at her. They exchange insults, and Septa Mordane sends them to their rooms. Eddard summons them both to him later. He informs them that he is sending them back to Winterfell for their own safety. Sansa begs to stay and says she loves Joffrey as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon and Jonquil Ser Florian and wants to marry him. During the course of the conversation, Sansa says that Joffrey is nothing like the king, and Eddard suddenly gets a strange look on his face. He sends the girls back to their rooms.
So this is the chapter where Eddard puts it all together and this is the chapter that seals his fate. The game board is set such that from this point there is almost no way for things to end well for Ned, especially given his own character and that of Cersei’s. It’s almost hilarious that it took Arya and Sansa to help Ned piece this together, but the tragedy is too great and I can’t summon any laughs. Well, we’ll come to that in a while but before that there’s some matters of interest in the beginning bits of the chapter. I’m going set aside all criticism of Sansa’s childishness and immaturity here not just because there’s no point in beating a dead horse but also because I do believe it’s somewhat believable and while I don’t like it, I think I can accept it fairly easily. The sad truth though is that chapter like these do end up with me subconsciously (or consciously?) hating Sansa even though I tell myself not to. Conflict emotions and all, ugh.
One of the things worth mentioning here is Littlefinger – it’s like he’s almost evaluating Sansa and her grasp of the game. He asks her why she would have sent Loras, perhaps hoping for an intelligent, crafty answer and instead gets the content of a Beiber fan letter. I don’t know, and Sansa can’t tell, if he’s disappointed by this or not – on one hand, a smart Sansa will not be easily manipulated but on the other hand, if she doesn’t even have potential as a player of the game, well then that can present its own difficulties. In any case, Littlefinger’s prophetic statement re: Sansa and songs is depressing to think about given the kind of shit she’s going to go through in the next couple of books. Then again, as a twenty-four year old, I’m inclined to think she deserves it for this line alone:
“Beric Dondarrion was handsome enough, but he was awfully old, almost twenty-two”
Fuck you, Sansa. Twenty four is the new sixteen, damn it. Actually, I hope that’s not true cos I really don’t want to be sixteen again.
Anyway, there’s also this:
“She was to be a queen, and queens did not cry”
Are you sure, dear? We have four ‘queens’ by ADwD and they all seem near tears – Cersei had her breakdown, Margery has cried over Loras, Arianne…well, I can’t remember, but I’m sure she’s cried too and then there’s Dany who, well, if she isn’t crying now, she will soon.
“I don’t want someone brave and gentle, I want him.”
Ah my sweet summer child, you know not how thoroughly you jinxed yourself.