Oh, ‘Game of Thrones,’ what have you done to Sansa? The Rains of Podcastamere

PodcastamereI have a million opinions about Sansa Stark’s horrible, horrible fate in season 5, episode 6 of “Game of Thrones.” I only had time to express a few of them on this week’s “The Rains of Podcastamere.” This deadspin article (though not the headline so much) sums up my thoughts pretty much on point. I’ll still be watching the show because 1. I’m weak; and 2. I have a misplaced faith that GRRM’s universe is self-correcting and I refuse to let HBO ruin it for me. Still, this is also some important further reading from The Mary Sue.

Of course, other stuff also happens in this episode of “Game of Thrones,” and we talk about all that too. Bronn sings a delightful tune; the Sand Snakes sorely disappoint with their lackluster debut fight scene; Arya sees a room chock full of human faces. The usual.

Take a listen. If you don’t want to hear a long conversation about rape, abuse and sexual assault, you can skip the last segment of the show. We’ll give you a warning when it’s coming.

The Rains of Podcastamere” is PennLive.com’s new “Game of Thrones” podcast starring PennLive Senior Westeros Correspondent Sean Adams, Community Engagement Lead Chris Mautner and myself.

Our new theme music was arranged and performed by Will Leinninger of Enola and was originally composed by Ramin Djawadi for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Listen to Leinninger’s band 3033 on Facebook andReverb Nation.

Tune in each Tuesday afternoon at PennLive.com, if you’re into this podcast.


6 thoughts on “Oh, ‘Game of Thrones,’ what have you done to Sansa? The Rains of Podcastamere

    • I didn’t have enough time to really expound on it the way I wanted to, so I’m thinking of writing something supplementary here as well. I’m also considering waiting until the next episode, since the preview shows her scheming with Theon a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I have 4 more minutes to finish it (it’s almost time for dinner) so I’ll have to leave a more detail comment later.

        I enjoyed hearing the three of you talk about female agency on the show, and I appreciate your concerns and breakdown of the recent episode. I do think that y’all are over romanticizing Dany and Drogo’s initial relationship. Book-Drogo was kind and gentle on their wedding night (as opposed to the show) but from then on, the book and show were very much in sync. Post-honeymoon Book-Drogo was not a kind and considerate lover to Dany until she took steps to take that in hand. I only bring that up because I feel it’s relevant in comparing book to show, and Dany’s similar paths in both media.

        Also, I might be the only Jeyne Poole devotee, but I was sad to hear her being dismissed so readily on the podcast. I felt her plight very deeply in the books, because I knew a LOT about her. GRRM is pretty good about giving secondary characters their own lives.

        So when Jeyne was taken from Sansa after sheltering with her in the coup, and given to [expletive] Littlefinger, I was very worried. Jeyne was Ned’s steward Vayon Poole’s daughter. She’d been in love with Jory Cassell (and who wouldn’t be, that guy was awesome), she was a girl Arya hated because Arya hated anyone like Sansa. So when she appeared late in the books, on the way to Winterfell and pretending to be Arya, I was ALL IN. And her fate was terrible and horrifying.

        So, I really want to speak up in her defense. She might be a secondary character in the book, but she was important to me.

        Sansa’s fate on the show is more emotionally terrible, because we see Sansa, we have hopes (theoretically, a few years ago everyone hated her, which might make her rape by Ramsay all the more terrible because viewers had come around on her) but I’d hardened myself for the event as soon as it was clear that Littlefinger was going to marry Sansa to Ramsay, and not use Sansa as “Alayne” to tutor a faux Arya.

        Anyway, I’m not trying to defend the show or how it portrayed what happened, and I found it upsetting, but I wouldn’t want to say that people shouldn’t be critical of it, but I’m not really in that camp. I’m less interesting in the show runners and their motivations and decisions, and more on what Sansa will do next.


      • I appreciate that you left your thoughts on this! I totally hear you about Drogo, but their relationship in the show vs. book is still very different to me. Whereas in the book, he tries to earn her trust by learning her language, while she tries to earn his respect by exercising her power, in the show she comes off as a lot more submissive. Even though he’s pretty rough, there’s a real imbalance of power where there shouldn’t be.

        I identified so strongly with Arya, that Jeyne Poole just came off as one of Sansa’s snotty minions in the beginning. When she came back, I was scared for her, and I felt pain for her, but since she never gets a POV and we really don’t hear much of her voice, so to speak, she’s presented really as more of a symbol than a sympathetic character.

        I am very interested in the show runners mostly because they’ve made these missteps in the past. I’m disappointed how they handled that scene, but I’m still holding out hope that it’s isolated and that they’ll handle Sansa’s story line more realistically going forward.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your response. After I posted it, I felt I had been too wordy and not as diplomatic as I should have been.

        I’m hoping that Sansa gets to reclaim her agency and that even though she’s in the Jeyne role in Theon’s story, it ends up still being a strong Sansa story. You’re right about missteps in the past.

        Best regards to you and your cohosts. Thank you for the focused podcast (I appreciate it when a podcast is short enough for me to listen to in its entirety on a morning or afternoon commute.)

        Liked by 1 person

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