SANSA AND JOFFREY: THE BREAD RIOT

gabsarc asked: Just before the king bread riot in KL, sansa manages to convince joffrey not to kill the wailing woman And give her money. How did she manage to do that? What did she said? Has GRRM ever said anything about it? thanks!

“I cannot abide the wailing of women.”

George hasn’t stated anything about the wailing woman during the bread riot, but it’s a pretty interesting progression to follow, especially concerning Sansa’s empathy and her journey in learning to manage being stuck with psychopaths.

In Sansa I ACOK, Sansa’s first foray into trying to tame her less-than-chivalrous betrothed almost results in beatings for her, but Sandor’s backup helped solidify her act of compassion, passing it as a lie.

“Please,” Sansa said, “I only meant … it would be ill luck, Your Grace … to, to kill a man on your name day.“

“You’re lying,” Joffrey said. “I ought to drown you with him, if you care for him so much.”

“I don’t care for him, Your Grace.” The words tumbled out desperately. “Drown him or have his head off, only … kill him on the morrow, if you like, but please … not today, not on your name day. I couldn’t bear for you to have ill luck … terrible luck, even for kings, the singers all say so …”

Joffrey scowled. He knew she was lying, she could see it. He would make her bleed for this.

“The girl speaks truly,” the Hound rasped. “What a man sows on his name day, he reaps throughout the year.”

When George shows us Sansa in Tyrion IX, we are shown this moment through his eyes from afar:

Halfway along the route, a wailing woman forced her way between two watchmen and ran out into the street in front of the king and his companions, holding the corpse of her dead baby above her head. It was blue and swollen, grotesque, but the real horror was the mother’s eyes. Joffrey looked for a moment as if he meant to ride her down, but Sansa Stark leaned over and said something to him. The king fumbled in his purse, and flung the woman a silver stag. The coin bounced off the child and rolled away, under the legs of the gold cloaks and into the crowd, where a dozen men began to fight for it. The mother never once blinked. Her skinny arms were trembling from the dead weight of her son.

What could little Sansa Stark have said to Joffrey to calm even his rage?

Well, between Sandor telling her  to up her lying  game or die in her second ACOK chapter (Sandor Clegane snorted. “Pretty thing, and such a bad liar. A dog can smell a lie, you know. Look around you, and take a good whiff. They’re all liars here … and every one better than you.”), I think it’s safe to presume that she reenacted her heroics from Sansa I, but practice has made her much better.

Abuse victims tread on eggshells, not wanting to set off another moment of anger, and Sansa certainly had spent enough time getting beat to learn what she could control, which was emboldening Joffrey, planting the seed, declaring him clever for choosing to do good, for showing his wealth to the poor and flexing his power.

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