Sansa lowered her eyes. “Thank you,” she said when he was done. She was a good girl and always remembered her courtesies
Can we just talk about this moment? It might be my favorite Sansa moment from the first book. It just hit me like a brick filled with sadness.
I was once listening to a podcast doing a read through of Game of Thrones and when they got to this line one of the hosts exclaimed, “Sansa is the worst.” I think that’s such an odd reaction to that line. This wasn’t Sansa being naive, shallow, or stupid. Her situation is so terrible but you can see her strength coming through.
Sansa’s courtesy is a strength, its her armour. She was raised as a noble women. To be beautiful. To sound beautiful. To embroider. Dance. Make other people at ease. Sansa was comfortable with this. Being a lady is a role Sansa wanted to play. And it was all she was ever taught. Sansa doesn’t have skills that are deemed practical like self defense, survival skills, etc.
That is why Sansa is so amazing. She draws her strength from something that readers and characters in the book think is useless. Tyrion is annoyed at her courtesy. The Hound scoffs at it. Cersei and Joff think she is stupid. Readers of the book demonize her for it.
Courtesy is a lady’s armour and Sansa’s armour is damn near impenetrable. Sansa does what he father could never do. She survives the court that is filled with conspiracy.
Survival is a strength. Survival is a skill.
Very much so. It’s always interesting to me that the Stark girls are both getting through a terrible time with use of their particular gifts, and that if their positions were swapped, they might both be dead.
Arya can pass as a boy for a while and survive the rough trek across Westeros, but she probably wouldn’t last a month in the conditions Sansa does in King’s Landing- Arya wouldn’t be able to keep her mouth shut and adapt to survive and work around people who are sneakier with their lies. Sansa probably wouldn’t have survived Harrenhal, unable to pass as a boy and be ignored, and later on, to fight physically. They both have their own equally valuable skill sets that allow them to survive.