Administrivia: 14 November 2022

Well, I wrote that previous post about an A Song of Ice and Fire fan theory of mine, and the site hasn’t melted down. I was out driving around Sunday and had some other thoughts which I figured I could flesh out into a post here. Some of it I’ve written about already, but it’s been something like three years since I hosted that theory here, so I don’t know how many of you currently reading this stuff even remember it.

And it’s more about Sandor Clegane this time around, which I suppose is Rory on a tangent, kind of.

First up, people have been arguing for ages about which side of Sandor’s face is burned. When I first read the books I assumed it was his left side. A reasonable person reading his initial description would have concluded it was his left side. But we see he’s burned on the right side in Game of Thrones.

At the end of the day, once the nattering about this dies down, I can only point out that George R. R. Martin was closely consulted with in the making of the show, particularly the first five seasons. If he felt they were putting the burn scar makeup on the wrong side of Rory’s face, he’d have said so. Also, there’s that passage in A Clash of Kings where Sansa walks on Sandor’s left side so she doesn’t have to see his burns. I think what actually happened with book one is George didn’t think about how it sounded when he wrote it out. He was thinking about sides as Sansa experienced them. A burn scar on Sandor’s right side would have occurred on Sansa’s left as she faced him. This is not how writers normally describe a person’s features, which is why everyone got confused. But it has been my observation in reading all five of the existing, published core books that whoever edited them did not do as thorough a job as they might have done. Actually, editing and proofreading have gotten noticeably sloppy in the past forty years and I wish I knew why. I’m just saying the ASOIAF books did not escape this trend unscathed, and in fact are far more error-prone than I’m accustomed to seeing. I don’t know if that’s true of all their different editions. I do know it’s true of the hardcover versions you can still find at Barnes & Noble. I actually harbor a secret fantasy that Martin hires me, once he’s done with all seven books, to go back and clean them up properly. Because I would do that shit for free*.

Wait… I said that out loud, didn’t I.

Welp. Guess it’s not a fucking secret anymore, huh?

Okay. Anyway, Sandor’s burned on his right side. End of.

Next up is another fan theory I came up with, and I can’t say I’m the absolute first to come up with it but I do know that when I first started bandying this about, I googled to see if anyone else was saying it on the internet and got bupkis. That was three years ago. Could be people are saying it now. I’m not going to bother looking.

We need to talk about SanSan, y’all.

I swear this fad plays up people’s worst tendencies when it comes to what they expect out of relationships, even fictitious ones. Sansa’s a kid, Sandor’s way older than she is, and Sandor needs to work on his fucking anger issues. I get why he is the way he is, and I’m sorry that happened to him, but maybe he would have been a dick anyway given who his brother is — could be something hereditary, who the fuck knows — and NONE of this makes him a good boyfriend. At best it might make him a good bodyguard. Sansa feels sorry for him because Sansa at heart is a decent person** and can see he’s in pain, not because they’re fucking soulmates.

Y’all even grossed Rory out with this. Seriously, he ate dinner with Sophie Turner’s parents. He was SO GLAD David and Dan didn’t pursue the SanSan thing***.

Actually, I’ve misspoken. I said Sandor and Sansa are not soulmates. But I might be dead wrong, and that’s what this theory is about. And if I’m wrong, I’m not wrong in the way you might have guessed.

Sansa, alone of all the Stark children (and one Stark-Targaryen kid), has no direwolf. Ned was forced to execute her wolf in retaliation for Arya’s wolf biting Joffrey and then running away.

About the same time Sansa’s siblings (and cousin) began developing psychic links with their direwolves, Sandor began taking an active interest in protecting and advising Sansa.

Coincidence?

Fuck no.

One of the mystical/ magical elements in the ASOIAF universe is the warg, a person who can create a psychic link with animals. Southron Westerosi dismiss wargs as northman wet-nurse tales. Northmen still tell the tales but most don’t believe them anymore. Wildlings from north of the Wall not only still believe in wargs but actively befriend them. And as we’ve seen, all of Ned Stark’s kids (and nephew) seem to have developed the warging ability.

The far-north wildlings have also made it explicitly clear that a warg creating a warging bond with another human being is forbidden. Taboo. Not fucking done.

Sansa does not know this. Sansa does not believe the old stories. Sansa is not aware that her siblings (and cousin) are forming these bonds with their wolves. Sansa’s wolf is dead.

Sansa has a bond with someone, however. We’ve all seen it. You all out there think it’s a romantic bond, in fact. Sigh. Flutter.

Nope. I think she warged Sandor. And I think neither of them know it, and that it is a source of great torment for him.

To me the biggest clue that this has occurred is that Sansa now has a “memory” of herself and Sandor kissing from the night of the battle of the Blackwater, when he left King’s Landing but stopped by her room first and scared her. We know they didn’t kiss, but she has a very clear memory of them kissing. One might be forgiven for assuming this was yet another error of Martin’s that survived the editor. Martin himself has dismissed it as Sansa’s being an “unreliable witness.” Martin, of course, would want to prevent spoilers.

We know from the accounts of Sansa’s siblings (and cousin) that the warging link can be felt over long distances. Most notably, Jon can pick up Ghost’s thoughts from a distance, and Arya can pick up Nymeria’s hunting from probably hundreds of miles away.

We also know from his words when Arya abandons him that Sandor had wanted to rape Sansa the night he went to her room. Sandor is fucked in the head from years of abuse and has probably never had a love relationship in his entire life. He wouldn’t know what to do with his feelings, and he clearly believes his feelings are romantic in nature. It is not difficult to conclude that the thoughts Sansa keeps having of herself and Sandor kissing are actually Sandor broadcasting his wish that he’d kissed her to every warg within broadcast distance. Or to his own warg, anyway. I’m actually kind of surprised none of the other Stark kids have picked up on it, but maybe you can only do that sort of long-distance emotion-reading with your own warging-vehicle. No idea. Suppose we’ll find out in due time. If Martin ever finishes the fucking books.

I mean, think about it. When you imagine kissing someone, you IMAGINE KISSING SOMEONE, like, you position yourself in that actual situation as if it is actually happening. So, yeah, as the other participant in this little fantasy, Sansa’s probably picking up “her” side of that scenario.

I wonder if she’s ever going to find out what happened.

I wonder what Sandor will think.

Hooooo boy.

I could go either way on whether Sandor’s feelings are genuine. I’m guessing possibly not, and this may be why warging people is forbidden. If it makes people feel things they wouldn’t otherwise feel, that’s a kind of psychological rape. At least in Sansa’s case she didn’t know any better and doesn’t even know she’s doing it, but if she’s meant to be Queen in the North by the end of the books, this could create some unanticipated drama with the northmen and/or wildlings if they ever find out.

Of course, David and Dan don’t know about this (I’m surprised they didn’t work it out, given they figured out who Jon Snow is), or if they did know they decided it wasn’t important or couldn’t be worked into the TV show. To the extent they fucked up the story just so they could finish the whole show with season eight, this was one of the ways they fucked it up, in my opinion. My guess is that they simply didn’t know. Who knows why. Maybe Martin decided he wanted to keep some details to himself so the books wouldn’t be a total wash with the fans. Maybe Martin himself felt there was no way to incorporate it into the TV show, anyhow. Rory certainly didn’t seem to know, because he’s always treated SanSan like a straight-up fucked up romantic fantasy.

But there you go. What I think is happening. We’ll see how it all plays out.

…..

Later today (it’s 1am now) I have a thing to go to. I’m afraid to talk too much about it here for fear it’ll fall through. But good thoughts, etc. would be appreciated, if you are so inclined. We could be seeing a change in my circumstances before too much longer. Just in time for the holidays, too.

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*”But you commit all sorts of grammatical errors in this blog,” you’re thinking. Yes, I do. My language here is meant to be conversational and I promise you, I do not speak in a grammatically correct way either, if you were to hear me in person. Actually, I don’t expect a work of fiction to have Strunk & White-level grammatical perfection either, but there are some pretty glaring mistakes in ASOIAF. For example: Get a Barnes & Noble hardcover of A Game of Thrones, then read the final couple paragraphs of the chapter that is about Dany’s wedding. Pay close attention. See if you see it. Even casual grammar wouldn’t have caused a mistake like that. That was some editor not paying attention. And that wasn’t even George’s longest book. That is the sort of thing I would clean up for him.

**I will never forgive David and Dan for turning Sansa into a bitch. I swear to you, read the fucking books. She’s not like that, I promise you.

***This, by the way, is points in his favor in my book. Much older men with much younger women is a Hollywood trope and THANK FUCK Rory is not like that. Whatever issues he might have with women, I don’t know, he doesn’t talk about that shit anymore. But he doesn’t have that issue, for which I will be eternally grateful.