Episode 192: Remustering the Manwoody

Episode 192 for the week of April 17, 2016, in which we are joined Michael (Khal Wadege) and Tanja (Scilens). We cover chapters 29 (Sansa III) and 31 (Jon IV) of A Storm of Swords.

Notes: We are remustering House Manwoody by requesting help from our listeners for the 2016 Podcast Awards. You can submit one nomination form anytime between now and April 30th: APOIAF for the Entertainment category and People’s Choice, VOK for the TV and Film category. Thank you for your help!

We discussed the intriguing Essos-Westeros Northern Land Bridge Theory at the end of the episode, illustrated in the suggested map below.

Northern Land Bridge Theory

Chapter 29 – Sansa III (artist: Queensmoot)
A Storm of Swords Drawing Project, Podcast of Ice and Fire

20 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Alias

    Did not expect to be so hyped at the end of this podcast thanks to that One Punch Man music. 🙂

    Great discussion everyone. I hope you do make that tumblr, Michael. Sounds like it would make for a fun read.

  2. Blue-eyed-Queen

    As per usual I loved the discussion, Tanja’s Jon chapters are always my favorite, and I 100% support that Tumblr idea.

    I tried to be as “Kyle” as I could with the April fools, glad he liked my “hot” impression 😉

  3. Ivana

    Damn, you made me groan aloud, yell and swear while listening! (And I was in the middle of the street while listening, walking my dogs – fortunately it was night and there was almost no one around.) Yet another podcast that covers the chapter from the POV of the 12 year old political prisoner/hostage going through the ordeal of a sudden forced marriage to one of her captors so his family – which had been killing her family – could use her body to steal her family’s lands – and the hosts and guests talk more about everyone and everything else, except Sansa herself; wax poetic about what a hero Tyrion was to show basic human decency and not go through with raping a terrified 12 year old political prisoner (instead stopping himself at just forcibly marrying her and sexually molesting her on their wedding night)*, and about his need for affection from his unwilling child bride/prisoner; and go on about how wonderful it would have been if she had spent more time with him and managed to develop Stockholm Syndrome. But at least you acknowledged that, while she was going through this horrible experience of wedding a Lannister, thinking she would get raped that night, you “can’t blame her” for not being more accommodating to her would-be rapist. At least you’re better than some other ASOAIF fans in that respect, who do call Sansa a bitch for “not being nice to Tyrion”. Yay?

    *Don’t give me that “every other lord would have done it” crap. No, I don’t think that every other lord would have raped a terrified 12 year old political prisoner just because he was given a free pass to do so. I could name a bunch of ASOAIF characters who wouldn’t, for starters. Ned wouldn’t, Jon wouldn’t, Sam wouldn’t, Robb wouldn’t, Davos wouldn’t, Jaime wouldn’t, and I could go on. And if you really expected Tyrion to do it, you had a rather low opinion of him. (He did ended up becoming a rapist in ADWD, but that was only after he sunk to his lowest point after killing Shae and Tywin, and started thinking of himself as the monster that people had treated him as.)

  4. Scilens

    Cause Jaime has never raped anyone … oh no hold on wait a minute.

  5. Ivana

    Whether you think that Jaime in the *BOOKS* has raped anyone…(i.e. debates about the sept scene in the books as opposed to the clear rape in the SHOW, where Jaime KNOWS that Cersei doesn’t want sex with him and replies “I don’t care”, unlike in the books) nope, he certainly wouldn’t rape a terrified 12 year old political prisoner. Or a terrified, clearly unwilling woman in general.

  6. Scilens

    Go and reread the scene in the book. It’s as clear as it gets. “clearly unwilling” to Jaime, like to many men, doesn’t include the case where she “really wants it but just doesn’t know”, but thank god he knows better than the woman in question. So who knows what he would have done with Sansa. Probably entirely depends on how hung up he is on Cersei at that point.

    But to reply to your initial post a bit more in depth: You do raise important and valuable points. You’re right that Tyrion wasn’t some great hero in this chapter; he was just showing some basic human decency, and that should be standard and not something to praise people for. However, as much as I dislike that myself, it’s hard or pretty much impossible to read ASoIaF and like pretty much ANY character if you judge them by the standards by which you’d judge the people in your modern day real life around you. Almost all characters have done a thing or two that’s really not cool. Your shining hero Jamie for example raped the woman he claims to love, and even if you wanted to debate that (which of course you wouldn’t if you went and reread that chapter, because it’s clear as day – if he didn’t know that she didn’t want sex, it’s because he didn’t listen), he pushed a little boy out of the window. Holy shit. Who the fuck does that. Yet a lot of people really like him as a character.

    A lot of people like the Hound. Remember what he did with Mycah? Not so charming.

    Most characters have done a thing or two or twenty that by modern day standards just aren’t cool, but it’s just unfortunately not feasible to look at ASoIaF that way. Unfortunately, in that world, Tyrion IS a rare exception (no, “not all lords” – ooohhh – would have raped Sansa in this situation. but most would have) and IS a good guy for not raping Sansa in this situation.

    I don’t recall anyone saying it would have been “wonderful” for her to spend more time with Tyrion. It would have been interesting, however, from a literary perspective, and given other possible fates for her, it might have been good for her. Tyrion and her might have come to respect each other and support each other, and that would have put her in a fairly good spot. I believe that if he had stayed in King’s Landing, he would have stuck to his word, and I also believe that they could have become, let’s say, friends of sorts. I do think that could have potentially been better for her than her current situation. Doesn’t mean it’s GOOD. Nothing good can come from a 12 year old being married off against her will. I won’t say you have to look at this in the context of the world and the series, because you’re welcome to have any perspective on this that you like, but you can hardly blame people for taking the context into account.

    It’s great that you’re taking the time to share your perspective here.
    I think it wouldn’t hurt though to consider how consistent it is and whether you’re not applying double standards and judging Tyrion by modern ideals but not other characters.

  7. Ivana

    I don’t need to reread the sept scene, since I remember it very well, and I have read quite a few discussions about it as well. You’re applying Straw Man here, because at no point did I say that it was NOT rape in the books. What I said is that 1) it’s different than what it’s in the show, and 2) it’s most definitely different than the situation with Sansa. In the show, Jaime is clearly malicious and hateful and wants to hurt Cersei; in the books, it’s clear that this is part of the messed up dynamics between the two of them, and that neither of them sees it as rape (and I’m not talking about “not calling it rape” – Cersei doesn’t call what Robert used to do to her ‘rape’, but she clearly considers it such, and Robert was also clearly aware it was wrong, since he used to excuse himself with the fact he was drunk). Does it make it not wrong? No. But it speaks to motivations, characterizations and likelihood of a person committing this or that act.

    And talking about Jaime’s crimes totally misses the point. Just because someone commits one crime or does a messed up thing, doesn’t mean they would do any other, completely different messed up thing. Really, if you seriously claimed that IRL, you’d be the world’s worst criminal profiler. But people only seem to bring up this logical fallacy when it’s about fiction, to defend the idea that “if person A did this bad thing, then they’re a bad dude, so they’d do any other kind of bad thing”. Well, no. That’s not how humans and their motivations and actions work. Arya murdered a guy to get out of Harrenhal, that doesn’t mean she’d rape someone if given the chance. Janos Slynt was an absolute piece of shit who would do anything for money and advancement, including murder a baby if the queen asked him to; that doesn’t mean we should assume he was, say, sexually abusing children. Jaime tried to murder a young boy because he thought he was defending his sister/lover, himself and their children, and may have maimed Arya because Cersei wanted him to – but I honestly don’t see a situation where he marries 12 year old Sansa and rapes her on their wedding night. For one thing, why would he do that? He doesn’t even care about lands and titles, unlike Tyrion, he isn’t obeying Tywin when it comes to his personal life (in fact, he flat out refused to marry Margaery when Tywin ordered him to), he isn’t interested in sex with anyone other than a woman he’s in a relationship with and who he believes he loves and she loves him back; what motivation could he have? If Cersei told him to? But if Cersei told him to, he’d be upset that she wants him to be sexual with someone else. Secondly, he has strong memories and guilt over not protecting queen Rhaella from being brutally raped by Aerys; so, he clearly doesn’t think that marital rape is OK, and he would see that as parallel to both Rhaella and Cersei enduring her marriage to Robert; he’d be horrified by committing something that he *recognized* as rape, and in such as case, he certainly would.

    And no, this is not about “is Tyrion a good guy or a monster” (not that he has to be one or the other). Simply, I don’t think it’s true that all or even most Westerosi men would rape Sansa in that situation. Westerosi understanding of consent leaves a lot to be desired, to put it mildly, but Sansa’s situation is pretty extreme, and most Westerosi would be able to recognize what’s happening to her as wrong, seeing a 12 year old political prisoner being forced to marry someone from the family of her captors, who have executed her father and are waging war on her family, and who’s clearly terrified and unwilling. Of course, not all of them would care, but those people are not the standard to judge by. And in fact, we see in the books that people do consider Sansa’s forced marriage wrong: Tyrion, for one, is aware of just how wrong and messed up it all is; and Catelyn and Robb, when they find out about it, are utterly horrified and disgusted. Catelyn’s reaction is to exclaim: “Why would they do that to her?” (so clearly Cat doesn’t see it as just another normal arranged Westerosi marriage), and Robb promised to kill Tyrion, and even though that the Lannister planned to kill Sansa as soon as they got a child from her.

    Should Tyrion be praised for showing basic human decency? Sure, why not. But not to the point of being praised as a hero, or implying that Sansa should have become friends with him because he didn’t rape her.

    As for Sansa’s potential friendship with Tyrion – they could be friends, but not in those circumstances. If Sansa was free and they were on more equal footing, then it would be possible. One day, if they meet again with no huge power disbalance, and agree to annul their marriage to mutual pleasure, and become allies due to their shared interests (say, bringing down Littlefinger). But you can’t be friends with one of your captors. Tyrion was a senior member of the Lannister regime, his power was largely diminished in ASOS (which meant that even the idea that he could protect her from Joffrey was rather dubious), but previously, he was the one with most power in King’s Landing besides Joffrey and Cersei. He was nicer to her than those two, but he was still her captor. They also couldn’t be friends as long as she was married to him and was forced to live and share room and bed with him, and he had legal right to rape her any time if he happened to change his mind. And they couldn’t be friends because their interests were completely opposite. Sansa didn’t want to live with the Lannisters and be moderately OK in the sense of not getting beaten or raped. Sansa wanted to get the hell away from the Lannisters, and had been actively trying to do so. Sansa wanted the Lannisters to lose and her family to win, and to be reunited with them. And when she thought they were all dead, that was all the more reason to want absolutely nothing to do with the Lannisters – let alone having to endure being married to one of them, living with them at court and having to appear with them in public. On the other hand, Tyrion, until his own family turned against him, supported the Lannister interests through and through. He had been one of those waging a war against the Starks, and he would not have let her run away from King’s Landing and out of the reach of his family. First, it was because she was a hostage and secured Jaime’s life. But even later, when he heard Jaime was free, at no point did Tyrion ever contemplate the idea that he could let Sansa escape or get her somewhere far away from both him and the rest of the Lannisters. The closest he got to it was contemplating whether he could take her to Casterly Rock (yeah, I bet she’d love that…). There’s no way Sansa could have been honest with him about the fact that she wanted to run away; she had to lie, and successfully lied to him. His vision for their happy future was not an annulment of marriage, and Sansa being free of him and the Lannisters (and Tyrion potentially being able to look for another wife, or just continuing his relationship with Shae or someone else), his dream was Sansa coming to trust him and love him and accepting him as her husband.. His POV chapters during their marriage are full of misery and resentment because of the fact that this was not happening, and was unlikely to happen. Maybe you should reread his chapters again, because they clearly show some of the reasons why Tyrion and Sansa couldn’t have become BFFs while she was still a captive of the Lannisters and married to him in King’s Landing.

  8. Scilens

    you completely missed the point of my post, but thanks for the discussion anyway

  9. Ivana

    Nope. I understood your points perfectly, I just completely disagree with them.

  10. Floor Acita

    If we’re talking about raping a child and Stockholm syndrome, what always comes to mind is this weird Dany/Drogo dynamic. Very rarely do people discuss it as Stockholm syndrome, call their relationship lovely etc. I’m not talking about their “wedding night”. But between that and the “under the open sky” thing, I think there were couple of rapes, in fact it reads quite similar to how Cersei described what Robert did and Dany is 13 at that point. Can we really believe that it turned into something different, had she and how much agency did she really have over Drogo?

    Also both in the books and in the show Drogo announces that he will rape women and children and almost no one has a problem with it, most people even after all the debates over the show the last years watch or read that and go “YEEEES What an awesome rousing speech!!!”…

  11. Scilens

    Those are very good points. Drogo seems to be a pretty popular character in general despite all that. You can argue about just how consensual the wedding night was, as she’s only 13 and obviously forced into the situation to begin with, though I’m really unhappy with what they did with it in the show. But regardless, there’s definitely a few instances after that where he rapes her. Which somehow doesn’t draw much criticism because she ultimately “falls in love with him”. Or maybe she just tells herself whatever she has to in order to survive this whole situation somehow. It does sound an awful lot like Stockholm syndrome. She seems so miserable in some of her earlier chapters, and Drogo really isn’t particularly nice to her.

    In a way Sansa and Tyrion’s situation is quite similar, and Tyrion definitely wins in this comparison. Though one thing that I’d say is important to note is that Tyrion was also somewhat forced into the situation. Tyrion wasn’t the one who made the decision to marry Sansa.

    I agree about Robert and Cersei as well. One thing that is worth keeping in mind, I suppose, is that there is some sort of pressure there on Robert to have an heir. And on Tyrion to consummate the marriage. That does in no way justify what Robert does and it wouldn’t have justified Tyrion raping Sansa. I still think it’s worth considering that aspect. If Cersei had never wanted to have sex with Robert and if he had respected that, he would have had to set her aside, which would presumably have had serious political consequences, and married someone else so that he could have an heir. Or he could have accepted that the throne would go to Stannis / Renly / their kids after his death. And the situation isn’t entirely dissimilar to Tyrion’s, because he’s Tywin’s heir and would have been expected to have a heir of his own sooner or later. Again, none of this justifies rape in any way. It does complicate the whole issue though.

  12. Floor Acita

    I completely agree! It’s almost like societal problems can’t be fixed individually – and that doesn’t mean the individual deeds are justified, on the contrary. If you accept and embrace the Patriarchy, you implicitly “accept” the things that come with it. Which brings up another interesting question. There is a lot of talk about Dany and her possible “reforms” in Westeros. No one is denying her ambition to rule as a queen however. So how much actual change can there really be beneath her? The Boiled Leather crew, especially Stefan say “she is the queen, everything else (!) is in question”, but I ask myself how many daughters might get “sold” to other families, how many women might get raped, tormented, brutalized under a Queen Daenerys Targaryen if there is such a thing after the Others f’d everything up…

  13. Ivana

    Drogo is a rapist, and Dany’s relationship with him is majorly fucked up, yes. I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up, though? Are you implying that people who don’t like the idea of Sansa getting Stockholm Syndromed for Tyrion think that Dany/Drogo relationship was great? That’s certainly not the case for me, or, I believe, most people who have made similar points.

    But it makes sense that Dany doesn’t see it like that, since her life with Viserys was even worse, she had never had a happy experience of a loving family, and her marriage to Drogo allowed her to reach some sort o power and acceptance and better her circumstances (since they started so terribly). I don’t see Sansa ever reacting like that to Lannisters, if that’s what you were trying to imply, since she grew up in healthy family, and Lannisters were those who ruined her life and made it hell. Not to mention that this was the start of Dany’s story – and she has grown into her power since. Present Dany wouldn’t need or care for someone like Drogo. If you thnk is planning the ending of Sansa’s arc to be her “realizing” that her forced marriage was really awesome, think again.

  14. Bruno Balbi

    Guys, I have zero Knowledge of podcast recording so forgive me if Iam being stupid. I realized one of the guest`s voice was only in one side of my headphone while all the others were in the other. Was that a technical issue? Unfortunately it made impossible for me to hear the whole converstation since Iam deaf from one ear 🙁

  15. Sorry, I didn’t realize the episode was in stereo at the last stage before releasing. I can fix this issue but I’m on my way to the convention now so it will have to wait until Monday night.

  16. Bruno Balbi

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer.

  17. Bruno Balbi

    Thank you!!!

  18. Davidhhh

    One thing we do have to consider when discussing the concept of consent in this world is the fact that it’s not only another time and another culture than us, but it’s a totally different religion. And the role that that religion plays in both their culture and in the institution of marriage.

    It’s pretty clear that consummation of marriage is EXPECTED in the Faith of the Seven. Marriage isn’t even considered official until the it’s consummated. So much so that the consummation itself is an actual part of the ceremony, with the bedding ceremony. We have nothing like that on Earth that I know of.

    When you enter into marriage, you are, in effect, taking out a contract with the gods, saying that you WILL consummate that marriage (and on your marriage night.) The very concept of consent on your wedding wouldn’t even occur to people in the faith. It would be an accepted given when you CHOSE to get married (even if that marriage was coerced.) If you didn’t want to consummate the marriage, you just wouldn’t get married. Not that women may have actually had that choice. But the Faith probably isn’t very forgiving on that matter.

    It could actually be argued that by withholding what we consider consent on her wedding night, that Sansa has committed a sin and broken her contract with not only Tyrion and the public at large, but with the gods themselves.

    (Just to be clear here, I’m not defending their religion in any way. I’m just interpreting it, given what Martin has told us about it, and trying to put this situation into its proper context in this world.)

    As such, by not consummating his marriage — irregardless of Sansa’s wishes — Tyrion is committing a sin against the Seven as well. He’s betraying his family, his society and his Gods.

    Isn’t that at least a little bit heroic, from our perspective?

  19. Ivana

    Nope. That’s all BS, sorry. In the actual books, no one ever thinks it’s a sin for Tyrion not to “consummate the marriage with” (euphemism ahoy) Sansa. You came up with that on your own – no one ever said that in canon. There’s no mention whatsoever of that being considered a sin.
    (And in real Middle Ages, it was not considered a sin, either. Generally, abstinence was a goodly thing, and you could never sin by NOT having sex.) As a matter of fact, Lancel decided to not consummate his marriage and devote himself to the Seven instead, and Faith accepted that.

    In canon, Tyrion was fully aware that what he was supposed to do to Sansa was wrong and bad, and said so to Tywin. At no point did Tywin or anyone try to use religion to justify raping Sansa – all the reasons were political. Cat and Sansa are both very religious, unlike Tyrion, and neither ever remotely thought that Tyrion consummating the marriage would be godly. On the contrary, Catelyn and Robb were horrified when they heard about the marriage, and cursed Tyrion as terrible and disgusting for marrying Sansa; Robb even promised to kill Tyrion.

    Nice try.

Reply to “Episode 192: Remustering the Manwoody”