Will Sansa betray Jon?

Let me start by saying that I don’t think Starkbowl is a real thing and if it is, it’s too contrived and out of character for Sansa. So, now that Jon is no longer at Winterfell, does that mean that Sansa will side with Little Finger and betray Jon?

Well, I don’t think so. Let’s break it down. Following last season and the way it ended, Sansa’s main objective was getting Winterfell back from the Boltons, taking back her home so that her remaining family would be safe. That was the driving force. We also know that Jon never wanted to be King in the North, just as he didn’t want to be Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Both positions were thrust on him. Jon is a man of action, he doesn’t really have patience for politics or diplomacy, both of which are important if one wants to be a leader in either scenario. One also cannot ignore threats within their own camp.

Jon’s actions as Lord Commander were honourable but he ended up getting murdered by his own brothers for it because while he saw their dissent, he didn’t take the threat they presented seriously enough.

Then there’s Sansa, who was groomed for as long as we can remember to be a Lady, to be faithful and loyal to her husband. In King’s Landing, she got a rude awakening when her father was executed right in front of her. She soon found herself in a nest of vipers with no friends or allies, there was literally NO one looking out for her. This was true of her time in KL as well as when she travels to the Vale as Little Finger’s bastard daughter, and need I even mention her time as Ramsay’s wife. But despite all of that, she survived. She learnt from those around her, saw them play their games and adapted. It’s why she’s politically more savvy, she knows how the court works and that being good and honourable aren’t enough to survive. Ned and Robb were both of those things and they still died.

Which brings us to this season. There was some tension between Jon and Sansa in episode 1 where they disagreed very publicly but then, they spoke to each other and listened to each other. The change was evident in episode 2 where Jon actively asked for her opinion and considered it. Even their disagreement in the Great Hall wasn’t as aggressive as it had been in the previous episode.

The entire Starkbowl theory rests on the assumption that Sansa is hungry for power and so far we haven’t seen anything to support that. If Sansa is indeed power hungry, she has a very ineffective way of going after it. She let Jon know when she disagreed with him and when she was approached by LF, she rebuffed him. Even in their exchange in the Great Hall in episode 2, she let Jon know, in no uncertain terms that she wanted him to stay back, that it wasn’t safe for him to leave. That, by leaving, he was abandoning the North, their home and their people. And what is it that LF can use to manipulate Sansa to his side; that he can promise her power and the recognition she deserves. Except, that no longer works as a lure.

Jon voluntarily hands over his crown to her, to rule in his absence, thereby nullifying LF’s lure. Jon says that he doesn’t want to be king, he never wanted that power, Sansa doesn’t either. And he hands over the reins knowing full well that their approach is different, they both perceive the threat of the White Walkers and Cersie differently. Despite all this, he still trusts her enough to hand over all that power. And he’s taking Davos with him, the only man who could have second-guessed Sansa’s decisions. He does this because even though Sansa might rule differently from him, their objective is the same, keep Winterfell and the North safe. And Sansa will take it a step further, she will do anything necessary to keep what remains of her family safe.

In making her the Queen, Jon also gave her something else, for the first time, she doesn’t have to depend on any man to protect her. For the first time in her life, she is independent and she has agency. I don’t see her giving it up just so LF can sit on the Iron Throne and let’s be honest, everyone knows (except LF) that he’s never going to get near the throne. She won’t interfere with Jon because having him with her also bolsters her own position whether as QitN or Lady of Winterfell.

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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – Stormborn – Other Thoughts

Episode 2, Stormborm was a bit of a let down in the respect that it felt like an episode that’s leading into something else and not one that stands on its own. It starts off really well but then ends on a low. There is action but literally nothing goes well for the people we are supposed to be rooting for. But what I really hated was the way the writers are trying to wind up the Dorne plot. 2 of the 3 Sand Snakes are dead, Obara gets speared and Nymeria is strangled by her own whip. They are supposed to be lethal warriors and yet they were dispatched with such ease. Ellaria and her daughter, Tyene will be taken to King’s Landing, Euron’s gift to Cersie. And I don’t see either one of them making it out alive considering that Ellaria killed Myrcella. Cersie will probably kill Tyene in a horribly painful way and make Ellaria watch or something just as twisted.

As for Yara, after Theon jumps ship, we don’t actually know whether she’s still alive or dead. I think she too is on her way to KL for the simple reason that we didn’t see her die and there was no reason to shy away from her death when we had already seen so much carnage. I don’t see her point as a hostage though because she isn’t important enough to either side. True, she is Theon’s sister but he’s a small fry, I don’t see Dany sailing to KL to rescue her. She also doesn’t matter to Cersie since they’ve never interacted. At the same time, I am kind of sick of women suffering just so that Theon’s plot can move along. Here’s another female character in danger of being fridged.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – Stormborn

I’ve wanted to write my thoughts on this episode since last night, alas, work gets in the way.. Anyway, here we are. I was thinking of doing a full recap but that would take too long, perhaps, once this post is done, let’s see. But moving along to Jon and Sansa. (also I’m writing this while at work, so I’m not quite as mentally ordered as I’d like to be, do bear with me)

Episode 2 didn’t have as many Jon+Sansa scenes as the first episode but there’s still plenty to decode where these two are concerned. Let’s start with another Cat/Ned parallel on the battlements:

I mean, it’s so obvious that you can’t possibly tell me that the showrunners, directors and writers haven’t planned it. After this, there is a marked change in Jon and Sansa’s interaction:

He asks for her opinion and takes it seriously. Even Sansa is a little taken aback (and not for the last time, this episode) The letter from Dany’s court has come from Tyrion and Sansa is the only one among the three of them who knows him best. She says that he’s not like the other Lannisters. He was kind to her when he didn’t need to and tried to protect her as best he could. Their interaction may not have been too dramatic, but Jon still gazes at her, so he’s back to that, as if really drinking her in.

The scene in the Great Hall was also very different than in the first episode. In this gathering, he seemed a little subdued, somber. And it’s not lack of confidence on his part, but a deep unwillingness to leave the North. He, like Sansa, has only just reclaimed his home and now he has to leave. He’s miserable, look at his face. Once, he puts his point forward about Dragonstone and going to Dany and her help in defeating the Night Walkers, various Lords speak out, including Lyanna Mormont, they like Sansa are concerned about the KitN leaving for the South.

Here is another stark (pun intended) differences between episodes 1 and 2:

Jon doesn’t dismiss or shut her out. He realises that her concerns are valid, just as they were in the first episode. he does trust her and demonstrates it by telling her, in front of everyone, that the North is in her hands while he is away.

You can see the shock on her face. This was the last thing she expected. Just look at her face, she had no inkling. She probably thought that he’s leave their home and by extension her, in someone else’s hands. I love the way this scene played out. There is so much to read in just their expressions. Then there’s that idiot LF, still skulking. Sansa glances at him and it’s not a look of triumph, he has a smile on his face but she is still stunned. She doesn’t smile back at him or any gives any indication that she’s happy about what just happened.

Now, onto the crypt scene: There was poor Jon, among his ancestors and then LF enters and it’s obvious that Jon is not happy about the intrusion. You can see the anger on his face, but he’s very much in control of himself.

See that? There’s the smile, similar to Ned’s expression. But here’s the other parallel:

The minute LF says that he loves Sansa as he loved her mother. Jon loses it. That is pure rage on his face. He snarls before he shoves LF against the wall. As I mentioned, Ned was smiling, toying with LF, letting him know who the alpha was. Jon was the aggressor, he was putting a claim, on Sansa, whether he realises this or not, LF clearly does. Jon is not playing around and he’s far more guarded than Ned every was. I can’t quite understand what LF was playing at when he tells Jon that he loves her. He couldn’t possibly have hoped for a positive outcome. I think that he was trying to seeds of distrust between the two of them.. He tells Jon, just as he’s about to leave that he loves Sansa and then starts working on her while Jon is away, except it backfires, Big time. Also, pleased don’t tell me that that was Jon just being a good, protective brother. That is not how brothers react, that was a lover, letting his rival know that he stands no chance and will be killed should be push the boundaries.

The farewell:

Once he’s outside, he gives no indication that he just strangled someone. They tentatively wave at each other and Sansa continues looking at him, even after he exits the gate.

He looks at Sansa and she’s still looking in Jon’s direction. I think he’s starting to realises that this may be history repeating itself. She doesn’t see him emerging from the crypts, her attention is completely centered on Jon.

In my mind, there is no doubt there is a well of deep and complicated feelings on both their parts, it’s why their interactions are so full undercurrents that some people interpret as tension. There is that, but it’s not steeped in distrust.

Arya needs to get to Winterfell ASAP!!! LF is going to try and manipulate Sansa and I can’t stand him getting close to her. It helps that she knows what he’s after and that Brienne is with her and she doesn’t trust him either.

Also, we have the Godswood scene in the next episode and now we know that it’s not Jon who’s with her. Who else could it be? LF maybe, but the figure appears to be too bulky to be him.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – Winterfell

There’s still time before we get the next episode for Game of Thrones, so let the theories commence.

The summary for the episode is as follows:

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.

We have these screencaps from the promo for next week’s episode:

I believe this is from the beginning of the episode, before the said revolt. For one, everyone in the Great Hall look a little relaxed, or as relaxed as they can be in a situation like this. This is the place where the guy says that a Targaryen can not be trusted. I’m curious as to how that came up and who brought it up? Could it be that Jon is maybe considering an alliance with Dany and her forces and brought it up in the Great Hall. That seems plausible considering the number and size of her forces which would surely be an advantage in fighting off the White Walkers.

These are the other screencaps from the promo:

The riders are clearly riding out of Winterfell, you can see the corridor in the background (in red) it’s the same place where I think Sansa is, standing there, watching the men and Jon ride out. And she looks worried, so clearly the revolt is by no means something trivial. I am also curious how Jon handles the House/people who revolted.

Also, the seeds of the revolt are present only in episode 2 since we saw no evidence of any unrest among the Northern Lords in episode 1. I have a feeling that the cause could be a possible alliance with Dany, there is nothing else on the agenda that is nearly as volatile.

Then there is also this:

Jon strangling LF but sadly not killing him. I’ve tried to stay away from the leaks regarding the show because the few I read bordered on silly and were bad ideas. I know there are leaks about this scene but I have a feeling that LF was probably skulking around in the hopes of catching Sansa to whisper more poison in her ears and instead runs into Jon who proceeds to strangle him. Also this screencap from the series trailer:

also looks to be from the same episode. I’m tempted to say that this is before he gets his throat squished but it could be after as well. For one, he could be leaning against the wall for support and that evil smile on his face can also be read like he just discovered something important about Jon and/or Sansa. Both of them have more to lose since they came to Winterfell, for the first time in a long time, they are home and in relative safety and yet not completely in the clear.

Evil/Dark Daenerys and other Misc. Thoughts

I’ve read a lot of metas that state that Daenerys will turn evil by the end of the show or will go mad and I can’t help but think that that probably won’t happen.

She’s far from perfect and not really suited to ruling. She is great at swooping in and setting people and cities free but the everyday governance is something that she still has trouble with. She can also be ruthless but the same can be said for ALL the characters in GOT. Nothing new there.

Additionally, we’ve already had the Mad King in her father and the Mad Queen in Cersie Lannister, now that one is well and truly mad and it is a scary prospect because of just how in-control she is and the sheer amount of power she has. It’s not just me who sees it, one only needs to look at Jamie and the look of utter disbelief on his face as Cersie says one outlandish thing after another and even stating that Tommen betrayed her. But back to Daenerys.

Daenerys is far from perfect but that’s what makes her an interesting character. She also has the wisdom of recognizing people who can serve well as advisers (see Tyrion) and actually listening to them. She also does not display any signs of impending insanity. If it does come to down to a battle involving her and Cersie, she might just win. She has the numbers to beat Cersie, barring any unforeseen calamity (or Euron’s gift to Cersie which could be a person or could be something that negates Daenerys’ use of dragons since those are her most powerful weapons) Whether or not she’ll get to rule or not is anyone’s guess.

I though this season would be the battle of the two Queens and the next season would focus on the battle against the Night King’s army, but so far it seems like the North at least is only gearing up for one fight and that’s against the Night Walkers. So it could go either way. If next week’s promo is anything to go by, the Northeners will not support Daenerys’ quest for the Iron Throne. They don’t trust outsiders and they trust Targaryens even less. Can’t see that going well for Jon, especially if he’s gone to her to join their forces. Ugh!!! So many possibilities!!

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 – Sansa and Jon (part 2)

So this is the part where I focus on the framing of these two characters and the many parallels between Sansa and Jon and Catelyn and Ned and also a contrast to Jamie and Cersie. Let’s begin.

For starters, if we just look at the way these two are framed in a shot, they almost always have the other in the shot. It is only in a tight shot that we see them solitary, anything wider, and they are both in the frame whether it is an over-the-shoulder or a profile two-shot. That’s not accidental, they are specifically placed that way. Also, look at what the camera focuses on

When Sansa grabs his arm to get his attention, he looks down at her hand. Now, if this were a platonic relationship between a brother and sister, there was no need for that look. Again, none of this accidental, these are as per specific instructions by the director. The actor doesn’t decide how he’s going to play a scene, not when you’re dealing with foreshadowing or putting in hints that you maybe want the audience to pick up on, these are decided by the writers (in the case of television because the directors keep changing from one episode to another) and the director (specifically in the case of films) This goes back to the forehead kiss in season 6, that long lingering forehead kiss which ends with Jon looks at Sansa’s lips before leaving. I won’t go into details regarding that since there are plenty of metas already on the subject.

As for parallels, Sansa continues to sit on Jon’s left at the table, a position occupied by the consort/wife of the king, not the mother and not the sister, just the consort/wife. This is also not random placement, a lot of thought and research went into this, there is another blogger who wrote an amazing piece on this with in-depth details, I’ll update the post with the link to it if I can find it. But go back to Season 1 and Ned would sit in the middle with Catelyn on his left, Coincidence? I think not. Then there’s this:

Another parallel to Ned and Cat in Season 1, the positions are almost exactly the same. These similarities are too on the nose to simply an homage to a previous couple, also where is the need to echo Ned and Cat unless the writers are steering us in a certain direction without explicitly stating where it is that we’re headed.

Now, kindly observe their position as they argue:

They stand so damn close to each other. This struck me even back in Season 6, when they have an argument in the tent about BotB, they are literally in each others’ faces. In fact they stand close to each other, even when they have a normal conversation, almost in each others’ personal space.

Now, look at Jamie and Cersie, an actual romantic pair (whether or not they will continue to be that remains to be seen)

Look at how far apart they are standing, the distance is enough that even though they may both be in the same frame one of them is always out-of-focus. And look at the sheer distance between them, they might as well be standing on either side of the room. Also note, the scene involving Sansa and Jon is immediately followed by the one above, also not an accident but one that clearly presents a contrast both in terms of character placement and over-all tone.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 – Sansa and Jon

Having seen the episode, I know that a lot of people are a little confused about the Sansa and Jon interaction in the meeting hall with the Northern Lords. It was confrontational and aggressive from both sides.

I can understand Jon wanting a united North to face off against the Night’s King and his undead army which now also includes massive giants. It makes sense to have those houses pledge themselves to House Stark and fight for them. But…. Sansa is also right in saying that the Lords who did fight for them, and who lost men on that battlefield when they fought for House Stark. Lords from much smaller houses and fewer men also deserve to be rewarded for supporting them when there was no guarantee that they would win. Could they have done it better, of course! But we need to keep in mind that they haven’t been around each other for a very long time. They are used to being on their own. Suddenly being thrust together and having to work together is going to be learning process and not something they’ll figure out overnight.

It wasn’t this scene that made me mad though, it was the one after it, where Sansa is trying to get through to him and he keeps ignoring her. It’s like he’s deliberately not listening to her. At the end of Season 6, Jon tells her that they need to trust each other and yet he continues to not trust her. She told him before the BotB about the traps Ramsay lays and that they will not get Rickon back. She even explains to him why Ramsay will never let Rickon go and Jon throws it in her face saying that her advice was far too obvious. And yet on the battleground, Jon fell for the trap, hook, line and sinker. If not the Knights of the Vale, they would have all died. But no, this season, he’s conveniently forgotten all that. Trust goes both ways and as someone who has repeatedly suffered at the hands of those Sansa had trusted, to say that she has trust issues would be a serious understatement. But I digress. Throughout that entire scene, it seems more like Sansa is talking at him and he only hears selective bits and pieces. When she tells him that he must be smarter than Ned and Robb, he once again throws it in her face, saying, “How should I be smarter, by listening to you?” And she replies, “Would that be so terrible?” By this point, she is imploring him to listen to her. And promptly after this, after reading Cersie’s message, Jon once again disregards her council. She’s lived at King’s Landing and she lived with Ramsay, would it be so outlandish to think that she can offer valuable insights. She tells him not to ignore the threat Cersie presents and Jon just disregards her.

I get that this is the training period of sorts but if Jon continues to behave the way he does, things will not go well for them. Which leads me to address the notion that Sansa will betray Jon which I just think is implausible and it would be awful writing. Throughout the above scene, while trying to get through to him, Sansa is also telling him that he’s doing a good job and the people respect him. She’s trying to build his confidence. That doesn’t sound like someone trying to tear you down. It would have been so easy for Sansa to tap into his insecurities and make him believe that he’s doing a shoddy job but she doesn’t. When LittleFinger approaches her, she shuts him down and doesn’t entertain him. One could ask, why continue to keep him there? Well, I believe part of the reason she hasn’t asked him to leave is because she doesn’t trust him and she’d much rather keep him where she can keep track of what he’s up to. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

In the promo for next week’s episode, the commander of the Knights of the Vale I think, says that a Targaryen can not be trusted. Well, once it is revealed that Jon is also a Tagaryen, looks like it won’t be easy for him to hold the North or Winterfell. But that won’t happen for a while I think. I have a feeling that Bran will reveal that bit of information to Sansa alone considering that Ayra is back on her way south to King’s Landing. Also, this puts a spanner in my theory that Arya will help Sansa kill LittleFinger. Guess, it’ll just be Sansa now, and maybe Brienne will help but I don’t see her do anything that would being dishonour to her knighthood. I’ll be happy as long as he’s dead and far away from Sansa.