Sansa has been held in her room for three days. On the first day, she had gone to the queen and told her of Eddard’s plan to send her away so that she might get her or the king to stop it. Cersei then had her escorted back to a secure room in Maegor’s Holdfast, where she heard the fighting begin. Jeyne was placed in the room with her and told her everybody was being killed. On the second day, they heard all the bells in the city ringing to announce the death of King Robert. On the third day, Ser Boros comes to escort her to Cersei. They walk out of Maegor’s Holdfast to the council chambers, where Ser Mandon admits them to see the queen, who is with Petyr, Pycelle, and Varys. Sansa asks after Jeyne’s father, Vayon, and Pycelle looks embarrassed, which seems to indicate he was killed. Cersei is annoyed that Jeyne was placed with Sansa, and Petyr says that he will find a place for her. Cersei tells Sansa that Eddard was a traitor who tried to steal the throne and manipulates her through her “love” for Joffrey into writing a letter telling her brother not to take up arms.
I’m a little sad about how the chapter ends. I always wanted to believe that, under it all, Sansa and Arya did have some kind of sisterly attachment to each other. I didn’t realize this until Sansa pointed it out, but I realized then that Arya had not thought about Sansa during her escape either. I don’t know if it’s a realistic depiction of the kind of shock they were going through, but I think it does make some sense in Arya’s case since she was on the move and constantly alert, looking out for guards and so on. In Sansa’s case, I’m a little more cynical just because she had time to ‘grieve’ her father and I think all in all she has a better understanding of the situation than Arya does. It’s also interesting to note that Sansa does have Jeyne’s company which should theoretically help her settle her nerves a little more compared to Arya who is entirely alone. Having said all of this though, I think I’m reading a little too much into it – the sisters might not have thought of each other right away but I think if we asked either of them, just two weeks from now, if they would like to be reunited, I don’t doubt that they would reply with a resounding ‘yes’.
Sansa’s personality is beginning to show some cracks here, which is actually a great sign because it is one of the first symptoms of this little illness I like to call ‘character development’. Character development often, if not always, begins by breaking a character’s ‘routine’ or ‘standard’ state of existence and by putting them through some experience, positive or negative, that results in their worldview changing. Sansa’s worldview is still very much intact, but the cracks are showing and it won’t be long until her world comes crashing down around her. The cracks that I’m referring to are her responses to the contradictions she sees around her. For example:
In the songs, the knights never screamed nor begged for mercy
She is having some difficulty reconciling the reality of the situation with her idealized notions of it. However, her difficulties now are nothing compared to what is to come, so we’ll talk more on this when we come to it.
The Hound had broken down her door with a Warhammer
There’s no kill like overkill.
Speaking of which, Cersei proceeds to flex her political influence by bringing in an entire Small Council to bully a twelve (?) year old girl.
They were cut in the shape of teardrops, as if the queen were weeping blood
Nothing much to say here, just wanted to point out how great this line is. Of course Cersei is wearing blood tears – she just killed her biggest obstacle to the throne. I love the way Sansa (reasonably, I’ll add) interprets this as a sign of mourning but the readers know it’s Cersei doing her victory dance.
Lord Petyr leaned forward. “I’ll find a place for her.”
Shudders. I should probably hate Littlefinger for this, but honestly, I can’t remember what exactly Jeyne Poole went through. As unpleasant as might have been, I think she still got a relatively good deal all things considered. I can’t help but wonder if Littlefinger knew right away that Jeyne might be useful for posing as Arya and if he did, you can count me impressed by his foresight.
Something about the way the small man looked at her made Sansa feel as though she had no clothes on
I really really hope that this isn’t foreshadowing. It’s remarkable how much slimier the Small Council seems to me now. My impression of them was that they were largely useless and the few who weren’t useless were pretending to be. Looking at them now though, we seen Varys feigning sadness, Pycelle pretending to be sleepy but actually enjoying this rise in Lannister power (seriously, what’s up with him and Tywin anyway) and Littlefinger going full pedo.
Her prince loved her
Sigh. Anyway, we find out that the letter never reached Stannis, which is a real shame, but wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This is one of the reasons why I felt that Ned sprung his trap too early – he needed to wait for Stannis to get the letter, for Sansa and Arya to be safely on their way to Winterfell and for Renly to cook trouble in the South. I hate to quote Littlefinger, but a little chaos would have strengthened Ned’s position immeasurably but I guess there’s no point speculating on that, is there?
“You disappoint me, Sansa,” the queen said, with eyes gone hard as stones
As ridiculous as it is for a grown woman and mother of three to be bullying a child, I can’t help but laugh at how Sansa is more or less the only person of equal status that Cersei is able to bully into obedience. Her attempts to do so with Tyrion fail rather amusingly if I recall correctly.
Reading this section obviously makes me hate Cersei, but a thought occurred to me – it might just be that I like/liked Robert not because he was a good person, character or King, but simply because bad as he was, I felt Cersei was worse. Robert was a brute, but he was a straightforward brute. Cersei is a bitch through and through but she’s a duplicitous bitch and those are far more worrying and infuriating.