Nettles was a small brown-skinned girl with black hair and brown eyes, who was sixteen at the start of Dance of the Dragons. During the war The Blacks vowed any man who could master a dragon would be raised to knightship and gain wealth. Sheepstealer was the only wild dragon to be tamed and, in the process, killed more seeds than the other three “castle dragons” put together. She became lover to Daemon Targaryen, husband of Rhaenyra Targaryen, and was sentenced to death because of it. She managed to flee and her and Sheepstealer were never seen again.
stupid sad smiling snow
Margaery looked very like her brother, the Knight of Flowers. The queen wondered if they had other things in common. Our little rose has a good many ladies waiting attendance on her, night and day.
Game of Thrones has just erased another very important facet of Sansa Stark’s storyline, that is, her hiding in the Vale as Alayne Stone, Petyr’s bastard daughter. Sansa being forced to give up her noble position has a lot of significance in the books, such as:
- Parallel with Jon Snow: once Sansa assumes her place as Alayne, a visible shift in Sansa’s language occurs. She not only begins to refer to Jon as her “half-brother” instead of “bastard brother,” she also begins to sympathize with his status as illegitimate and the harsh reality that comes with it.
- Parallel with Arya Stark: the sisters, two sides of the same coin, both lose inherent parts of their identity that undoubtedly help shape them in the future. When Arya’s chapters start being named differently, so do Sansa’s. Both of them assume new names and new positions in society, which is so important that they both lose bits of what they wanted most. Arya is forced to give up things like her sword and face that symbolize her connection to family (father and half-brother), and Sansa is forced to give up both status, name, and physical appearance that is her connection to family (her mother, true born brothers).
- Loss of nobility: her experience as Alayne is supposed to be humbling. She’s no longer the daughter of Ned Stark the Lord, nor the sister of Robb Stark the King. She’s a bastard, yes still of a noble, but only a “minor” noble (until Littlefinger inherits the Vale via Robyn anyway). She dresses more modestly, less like she usually enjoys. No one pays her any mind and she mixes in with the common folk, leading to the next point.
- Fostering friendship with Mya Stone: since Mya is absent as of yet, we can probably guess that she’s not going to be very relevant in Sansa’s story, which is an incredible shame, because Mya was not only the first lowborn friend Sansa had, but also one of the few people who was genuine and honest with her, and helped her understand the world of commoners.
- Marring her beauty: thus far, Sansa is noticed explicitly for her beautiful Tully looks, more specifically her red hair. When she becomes Alayne and dyes her hair brown, it makes her slightly less beautiful, and therefore less welcome to the privileges that come with being a conventionally attractive woman, plus a little bit of the relief of being less sexually noticed (though that certainly doesn’t stop several characters from threatening to rape her anyway).
- Isolation: In King’s Landing, she was widely known as Sansa Stark (for better or worse), but in the Vale, the main person who knows her identity is Petyr and that’s not only something that kind of scares Sansa, but it actually literally forms a split in her mind. When GRRM stops titling Sansa’s chapters with her name and starts titling them “Alayne,” it symbolizes the change happening in Sansa’s life, the distancing of herself from the girl she once was to the woman she is being forced to become. For example, one of the things Sansa does in her Alayne chapter is change her age. She literally says Alayne is someone who would be older than Sansa as she’s gone through more.
- The larger arc of identity: which is a pretty big one that is played upon constantly and repeatedly. Arya becomes Arry becomes Beth becomes the blind beggar, etc etc. Catelyn Tully becomes Lady Stoneheart. Bran loses himself to become a tree (?). Rickon loses his status to be basically raised by wildlings and cannibals (and his feral wolf). Jon Snow becomes Lord Commander. Without becoming the bastard, how can Sansa properly achieve that ultimate arc?
The show probably chose to change her bastard status (or at least change it to a less important part of her identity than niece, which is how she’s introduced first) because they didn’t want to confuse viewers. But I personally think it’s another fumble amongst the many they’ve already made to Sansa. Alayne Stone is important, it’s important for her to be a bastard daughter of a minor lord, it’s important for her to be treated like a commoner and have friends from a bastard tier like her, it’s important for her to make that differentiation in identity. Taking that away is seriously doing harm to her plotline.
this tag literally makes me laugh every time
1.04 // 4.05