Hi! I’m a dummy and accidentally stumbled upon some Sansan theorising on a non shipper meta blog…I really dislike how even supposed neutrals use this romanticising language to describe the Unkiss as a “fantasy”, and Sansa’s clearly traumatic nightmare simply a “dream”?! It completely neuters the serious threat the Hound posed and his reprehensible behaviour, IMO. The blog also suggested that it is natural takeaway to assume that Sansa is attracted to the Hound…is she?! I don’t think so.
The thing is, Sansa usually has bad dreams: She dreams of her father’s death, of the riot, of the Battle of the Blackwater, of Joffrey’s death and his suffocating. None of these dreams is a nice dream. They are all nightmares.
She rarely dreams nice, only in connection to her home, Lady and Winterfell :
That was such a sweet dream, Sansa thought drowsily. She had been back in Winterfell, running through the godswood with her Lady. Her father had been there, and her brothers, all of them warm and safe. If only dreaming could make it so . . . (ASOS, Sansa IV)
And this dream is shortly before Joffrey is killed and she gets a short respite when she flees King’s Landing.
She awoke all at once, every nerve atingle. For a moment she did not remember where she was. She had dreamt that she was little, still sharing a bedchamber with her sister Arya. But it was her maid she heard tossing in sleep, not her sister, and this was not Winterfell, but the Eyrie. And I am Alayne Stone, a bastard girl. The room was cold and black, though she was warm beneath the blankets. Dawn had not yet come. Sometimes she dreamed of Ser Ilyn Payne and woke with her heart thumping, but this dream had not been like that. Home. It was a dream of home. (ASOS, Sansa VII)
This dream happens shortly before she rebuilds Winterfell from snow.
So, even if you think that Sansa’s dream about the Hound is nice, the context of the other dreams would speak against that. But I think you can see that her dream is not nice:
That night Sansa scarcely slept at all, but tossed and turned just as she had aboard the Merling King. She dreamt of Joffrey dying, but as he clawed at his throat and the blood ran down across his fingers she saw with horror that it was her brother Robb. And she dreamed of her wedding night too, of Tyrion's eyes devouring her as she undressed. Only then he was bigger than Tyrion had any right to be, and when he climbed into the bed his face was scarred only on one side. "I'll have a song from you," he rasped, and Sansa woke and found the old blind dog beside her once again. "I wish that you were Lady," she said. (ASOS, Sansa VI)
She tosses and turns. It is not a nice dream. She dreams of Joffrey dying, of Tyrion molesting her and then of the Hound. And when she wakes, she thinks of Lady. Lady would be a consolation here. It is not a dream, it is a nightmare, and she wishes for the nice dreams of Lady and home. If you look at it side by side it is quite obvious. Lady, Winterfell, home = nice dreams, Joffrey, Tyrion, Hound, Ser Ilyn = nightmares.
Let’s finally look at this little piece in AFFC, the notorious unkiss.
As the boy's lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.
I don’t think this is a nice memory. It is Sansa coping with her trauma and it is interesting that she thinks about this after Sweetrobin kisses her although she is reluctant.
So, I agree. Sansa’s dreams of the Hound are not sexual. They are nightmares. They make her uncomfortable and not in a good way. You can see it in the dream itself, if you look at the wording, but it is even more obvious if you take Sansa’s other dreams and put it into context of how Sansa usually dreams. Sansa’s dream aboard the Merling King is a nightmare.
It is interesting that the mention of ‘dreams in the waking world during daylight usually is something that Sansa longs for but does not get. For example, she dreams up her fantasy about how her marriage with Willas would go and she dreams about how her wedding would be only to be rudely awakened when she is forced to marry Tyrion. I guess that would be worth another post. Sansa and dreams.
I would really appreciate help finding a sansan fic. Spoilers as I type all I can remember: Sansa is a tenant and friends with Walda, and Sandor owns the flat where she lives. Gregor is alive and gets into an accident, and loses a leg. Walda is his nurse I believe? Sansa is a seamstress. Sandor's sister is alive. Stranger died :( but has several puppies. I started reading it on ao3 but just can't find it. Thank you in advance!!!
I remember this fic, not the name but the premise, and I can't find it either. I'm going to put this in the tags and see if our fellow shippers can help out.
✨ 90s SanSan headcanons that can’t stop, won’t stop ✨
Sansa channels Mariah Carey and skates at the roller rink to “Fantasy” in daisy dukes and a crop top with glitter clips in her hair. Sandor watches intently from the shadows. She knows he’s watching. She likes it when he does.
When 1997 rolls around, Sandor takes Sansa to see Titanic in theaters. Sansa cries uncontrollably at the end. Sandor takes her for ice cream after and makes sweet, sweet love to at home later.
Your comments on Darklina have made me curious to know if your feelings about SanSan have changed at all as you've gotten older? I got into it when I was very young, and I still love it for sentimental reasons, but in truth, I don't think it would appeal to me if I discovered it at this stage in my life.
It was definitely a kind of violent representation I needed in the throes of my first real PTSD episode at 18-19, as I was processing my own sexual trauma and the depths of my family’s dysfunction.
To be clear, I think it’s very important to be able to explore trauma and violent representation and toxicity and unhealthy things through a lens of fiction. I think being able to have that is important for a lot of reasons. And that it can also be separate and apart from “wow this author is a terrible person for x, y, and z. reasons” where something is outright racist, transphobic, homophobic etc. It's important to be able to have those conversations, but also understand you're not going to hell for liking a Problematic Work. I have a lot of Thoughts about GRRM, but ultimately his work has also been very important to me, emotionally, and was a bedrock for me during a really difficult time in my life. Which, well, I think the point of fiction is that it’s the world reaching back to you. Stories connect us. Art reminds us that we’re human.
I think like you, I’ll always love it for nostalgic reasons. In canon, unless we get an epilogue where Sansa is much, much, older I wouldn’t want it to go beyond Sandor redeeming himself by making his way to Sansa and ensuring her safety and both of them realizing the images that they had built up in their heads were just that - images. I don’t need SanSan at this point in my life, but I very much look back at my time actively shipping it and producing content (and very very cringeworthy meta and getting into cringeworthy fights and fanwank) and interacting with other shippers as a critical time in my life. One where I formed long-lasting relationships with people I’m inviting to my wedding. Hell, I first followed my wife on here because of a viral post she wrote about Sansa.
I’m a lot less combative and righteous than I used to be. Life really knocked me on my ass a lot in the past ten years. But SanSan gave me a time and a place to feel anger and fear and pain and trauma and healing and hope and taught me how to be fucked up so I could try to get better. My life has changed immeasurably since then. I never even thought I’d live this long. I attempted suicide twice by the time I was 22. I got into and then out of drugs. I almost died multiple times. I put myself into unsafe sexual situations. Then... I got into therapy. I cut my family off, ran away to NYC. I put one foot in front of the other until my day-to-day life felt less like a high-wire act. I fell in love with my best friend, someone who also has been forced to understand the language of violence in her own way.
I’m... okay now?
I... didn’t mean for this to get as emotional as it did, but welp. It is.
Anyway, yes. If I picked up ASOIAF for the first time today, I don’t think I’d ship SanSan. But it’s always going to be something I have a ton of nostalgia for.
I have never read or even heard of "Byron the Beautiful is actually Sandor Clegane in disguise” theory before but knowing Sansans think brave, strong & gentle highborn lord Ned promised to Sansa is actually hound, this doesn't surprise me. Not at all. Like this is the exact level of reading comprehension skills I would assume from people who think that in medieval times period, where matches between noble houses were political and also beneficial to both parties, a stark will marry someone from house clegan😭
Not to oversimplify it or anything, but I believe the theory goes, Howland Reed reanimated/glamorized the Hound into the young, elegant, blond, beautiful Ser Byron the hedge knight. He did this with magic rubies and bones found in the Quiet Isle. They’re now on a covert mission in the Vale, with the Elder Brother, to rescue Sansa Stark.
Remember though, it’s the people that theorize Jon and Sansa might fall in love that are crazy.
Didnt die and didnt lose my passion for Sansan. Was on a paranormal/high strangeness podcast, dipped my toes in spirituality, and had some health shit. But believe me Im back and ready to binge! Had a period of alcohol binging but back to way cut back again. Gonna get my cheek metal removed soon, swear to God they better let me keep it. I’ve intentionally been not reading Sansan so that I will have a big array of shit to read in recovery, esp if I cant sleep. And bc I dont know Ill have the self control to save Handmaids Tale, Im really paranoid about it being spoiled if I wait lol. Oh and Im fully vaccinated bitches! Was right away, I volunteered at vaccine and test sites so got it in the front line category. And Jesus fucking Christ was it depressing how much I had to fight some ppl to use hand sanitizer, theyd literally touch the top and then pretend like it was on. Its really wet and evaporates slow so its obvious they didnt use it, like what the hell youre spitting all over and wiping it on your pants, try a little, half these idiots were college students. But yall Ive thought of this community and of Sansan a lot. Its a beautiful thing.
She tips her head to one side and smiles devilishly. What the fuck? He thinks as time slows down. Watching her lick her lips, he feels his chest get tight. "Catch me if you can," she teases. She moves fast, unbuckling and pushing out the car as he sits there frozen. He watches her disappear around the side of the house and into the backyard. What the fucks is she doing?
"Catch me?" He whispers to himself, not quite putting it together. Then it hits him. She wants him to chase her? Run her down? Fucks yes he will. He fumbles his way out of the car and stalks around the corner of the house and through the gate. "Little Bird, Little Bird where are you?" He calls.
Hi Janie! I'm the anon who was asking for SanSan fic recs (super grateful for the ones you linked) and I wanted to tell you how short the road from 'oh, I want to read this specific pairing' to 'oh, I've got a full fledged canon divergent 100k+ fic planned that vastly expands the canon North' is. Help! 🙀
hey anon!!! I’M REALLY GLAD YOU’RE HAVING A HAPPY TIME WITH THE SHIP OF DREAMS THAT GRRM LOVES AS MUCH AS US ;) and hahahah well WILL IT BE ME JUDGING YOU FOR THAT GOOD LUCK!!!! please tell us when you write it ;)