A Game of Thrones-Chapter 44
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Sansa wonders with Jeyne Poole why her father did not send the gallant Ser Loras to kill the monster Ser Gregor. The next day her father reveals that he is sending her and Arya back to Winterfell. Sansa insists that she cannot leave because she is to marry Prince Joffrey, who is nothing like his father and will give her children with golden hair. This is an epiphany to her father.
Sansa is bewildered that her father did not send the Knight of Flowers after Ser Gregor Clegane. She tells her friend Jeyne Poole that she thinks it is because her father was in a foul mood from his leg wound. Sansa believes sending Ser Loras, who looks like a hero, to slay the monstrous Ser Gregor would have been just like the tales. Sansa tells Jeyne that she said as much to Septa Mordane, but that the septa only told her not to question her father’s decisions. Littlefinger, who had overheard, claimed that her father’s decisions could do with a bit of questioning. When Sansa had explained to him about monsters and heroes, Littlefinger told her life was not a song.
Jeyne suggests that Lord Eddard should have sent Ser Ilyn Payne, but Sansa replies that he is like a second monster. Then Jeyne begins to speak dreamily about Lord Beric Dondarrion, telling Sansa how brave and gallant he is. Sansa can only think that even though Lord Beric is handsome, he is also old: almost 22.
Changing the subject, Sansa tells Jeyne that she has had a dream about Prince Joffrey taking the white hart the king’s party is hunting in the Kingswood; it was actually only a wish, but Sansa thinks it sounds better to call it a dream. In her heart, Sansa thinks that her prince is far worthier than his drunken father. Jeyne asks if Joffrey just touched the hart in the dream, since that is what heroes always do in the stories, but Sansa insists that Joffrey shot it with a golden arrow and brought it back for her because she knows Joffrey likes hunting and killing.
Sansa does not think Joffrey had anything to do with killing her father’s men; that was all his uncle Jaime Lannister’s doing. She knows her father is still angry about it, but believes that blaming Joffrey would be like blaming her for something Arya did. The mention of Arya leads Jeyne to speak of how she saw Arya walking on her hands. Both agree that they cannot understand why Arya does anything.
Next Sansa tells Jeyne about Yoren coming before the throne to ask for more men to man the Wall. After seeing the dirty, smelly Night's Watch recruiter (nothing like her Uncle Benjen), Sansa felt sorry for her bastard brother Jon Snow. No one would volunteer for the Watch, so her father gave Yoren his pick of the dungeons. Jeyne soon interrupts Sansa to suggest they go to the kitchen to get some lemon cakes and Sansa agrees.
The next morning Sansa wakes to watch Lord Beric depart with his men and thinks it is a song come to life. Afterward, the Tower of the Hand is so empty Sansa is even happy to see Arya. Arya asks if the men have gone to hunt down Jaime Lannister, and Sansa explains that they have gone for Ser Gregor Clegane. Sansa then asks Septa Mordane whether they will put the Mountain’s head on a spike over his own gate or bring it back to King's Landing. The septa is horrified that Sansa would discuss such a thing over breakfast.
Arya wonders why men were not sent after Jaime Lannister, since he killed Jory Cassel and the others, or after the Hound for killing her friend Mycah. Sansa declares that it is not the same thing because Mycah attacked Joffrey. Arya erupts, shouting that Sansa is a liar. Sansa responds snobbishly that Arya can say whatever she wants but will still have to bow and call her “Your Grace” after she marries Joffrey. Arya throws an orange at Sansa, staining her beautiful ivory dress and driving Sansa to declare that it should have been Arya they killed, not Lady. The septa orders both of them to their rooms, where Sansa tears off her stained clothes and goes to sleep.
Sansa is dreaming of Lady when Septa Mordane wakes her and brings her to her father. Once Arya is brought, Sansa immediately claims that Arya started the fight and ruined her dress. Eddard silences Sansa and Arya takes the opportunity to apologize and ask for Sansa’s forgiveness. Sansa is dumbfounded but eventually asks about her dress. Arya offers to wash it, or failing that to sew her a new one.
Eddard interrupts to tell them that he did not call them in to talk about dresses but to inform them that he is sending them back to Winterfell. Both sisters exclaim their unhappiness, and Eddard laughs that at last they can agree upon something. Sansa insists that she has done nothing wrong and tells her father to send Arya away since she started it. Eddard explains that he is not sending them away as a punishment, but to keep them safe.
Sansa insists that she cannot go; she is to marry Prince Joffrey, whom she loves as much as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon. She wants to be his queen and have his babies. Eddard assures Sansa that he will find her an appropriate match and that Joffrey is no Prince Aemon. Sansa insists that she wants Joffrey and that she will give him a son with beautiful golden hair who will be the greatest king there ever was, as brave as a wolf and as proud as a lion. Arya points out that Joffrey is not a lion, but a stag like his father, and a craven and a liar besides. Sansa cries out
He is not! He's not the least bit like that old drunken king.
Eddard gets a strange look on his face before telling them that they will sail as soon as he can find a ship. He also warns them not to tell anybody. Septa Mordane returns to urge Sansa to stop crying while Arya insists that a journey by ship will be an adventure and that they will get to see everybody back at Winterfell again. Sansa remains furious and storms off to her bedchamber and bars the door.
- Summary and analyses of the chapter by Leigh Butler.
- Summary of the chapter on Tower of the Hand.