The Problem with Winterfell

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arabian
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:35 pm

Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:52 pm

I'm not a Sansa or Sophie Turner hater, (I like Sansa way more on the show than I ever have in the books due to Turner's portrayal), but I do think that D&D favor the actress to the point where they have positioned her more prominently than perhaps the character should be. And that is why I think we could be having the problem that we are in the Winterfell storyline. Sansa, I don't think is the most compelling character, nor is she one of the overall main favorites for the general audience. Despite this, Sansa is the FOCAL point in Winterfell. I don't think she should be. Positioning her as the lead--and only lead--of Winterfell and that which everything revolves around was a mistake, in my opinion.

EVERYONE else is reacting to Sansa. EVERYTHING is revolving around Sansa. So everything that we are seeing, hearing, feeling is through Sansa, is because of Sansa, is about Sansa. It started last season by getting Sansa's reunion with Jon (which was fabulous) and was not something I had even the slightest issue with. However, it then continued this season by making the next Stark reunion... again with Bran... about Sansa, through Sansa's eyes. And then Arya was reunited with Sansa first. And Arya's reunion with Bran was after the fact. Sansa had the main reunion just as she had with Jon, and then Bran, and then Arya. And the reunions were about Sansa, from Sansa's point of view. Sansa was the focal point.

Everything going on in Winterfell is ABOUT SANSA. Sansa is such a great leader. Littlefinger's machinations are all about Sansa at this point. Bran's entire story--oh, wait, Bran doesn't have one. Arya's entire storyline is about Sansa. It's all about, oh, Arya is being so mean to Sansa. Arya is not talking to Sansa. Arya doesn't know what she's going through, and what she has gone through. And this is true! Because that is how the story is being positioned. Arya is viewing EVERYTHING through a Sansa-lens. There is no Arya-based arc that allows for viewers to feel for her, to get that she's doing this, she's like this because of what she's gone through. Again, everything is through a Sansa-lens. Even that fantastic Arya-Brienne fight scene, as soon as it finished... what did we get? Sansa's point of view. It wasn't for Arya. It was for Sansa (and Littlefinger who is all about... wait for it! Sansa) that the scene was mostly done, not for Arya.

Even the scene with Bran and Arya was barely about Bran and Arya, but rather Sansa reacting to the news that Arya was indeed a killer with a list. Yes, we got Arya getting the dagger... which Sansa reacted to. The thrust of the scene was for Sansa's sake. Other than the Bran/Meera, and the Bran/Littlefinger scenes (and the latter tied into the Littlefinger/Sansa storyline), everything at Winterfell since Jon left--including every single Arya scene--has been about or relating to Sansa. And even the Jon scenes mostly revolved around Sansa.

I'm not saying that Sansa shouldn't be important, and I'm not saying that we shouldn't be seeing her story arc play out as well because we definitely should, but having her be the sole focal point and the only reason for Arya and, at this point (well, with only one episode left, it might as well be), Bran to even have a story is ridiculous. In the books--yes, I'm going there--Arya and Bran are bigger, more important characters than Sansa. Yet, in the show, they are barely supporting characters this season because D&D seemingly can't let go of their obsession to have Turner front-and-center at every opportunity. And that's really a shame because instead of giving her (as well as Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright) a chance to truly shine in a great story that highlights all THREE Starks (and actors--one of whom is already Emmy-nominated), they've given Turner the lead in a clunky, illogical, disappointing story where the Starks are dark and dim.
Gendry: You shouldn't insult people that are bigger than you are.
Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.

Meg22
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:24 am

Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:52 pm

You're reminding me of Arya at this point - it's all about Sansa. And that, in a nutshell, is Arya's problem. It was all about Sansa when she was a child, and it's all about Sansa now. There's nothing like a getting a bit of payback by intimidating the sister that you've always been jealous of with your new powers. If the show is giving the impression it's all about Sansa, then it IS showing Winterfell from Arya's viewpoint. Sansa, as Lady of Winterfell, is the most important person at Winterfell.

An assassin has little to do at Winterfell. Perhaps it will be the impetus for Arya to move on. Bran has moved beyond Winterfell and Starks, so if Winterfell isn't being seen through his eyes, then that reflects the character too.

This is Sansa's time to shine, and why not? The character has been pulled from pillar to post while her siblings have been given validation of their specialness in various ways. Bran will be more important when the war starts in earnest, and no doubt Arya will play a part too possibly in solving internal struggles. The main point is that Arya and Bran don't play a prominent part at Winterfell. That's Sansa's domain. Arya and Bran have a different roles to play.

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Dgskdive
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:09 pm

Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:22 pm

arabian wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:52 pm
I'm not a Sansa or Sophie Turner hater, (I like Sansa way more on the show than I ever have in the books due to Turner's portrayal), but I do think that D&D favor the actress to the point where they have positioned her more prominently than perhaps the character should be. And that is why I think we could be having the problem that we are in the Winterfell storyline. Sansa, I don't think is the most compelling character, nor is she one of the overall main favorites for the general audience. Despite this, Sansa is the FOCAL point in Winterfell. I don't think she should be. Positioning her as the lead--and only lead--of Winterfell and that which everything revolves around was a mistake, in my opinion.

EVERYONE else is reacting to Sansa. EVERYTHING is revolving around Sansa. So everything that we are seeing, hearing, feeling is through Sansa, is because of Sansa, is about Sansa. It started last season by getting Sansa's reunion with Jon (which was fabulous) and was not something I had even the slightest issue with. However, it then continued this season by making the next Stark reunion... again with Bran... about Sansa, through Sansa's eyes. And then Arya was reunited with Sansa first. And Arya's reunion with Bran was after the fact. Sansa had the main reunion just as she had with Jon, and then Bran, and then Arya. And the reunions were about Sansa, from Sansa's point of view. Sansa was the focal point.

Everything going on in Winterfell is ABOUT SANSA. Sansa is such a great leader. Littlefinger's machinations are all about Sansa at this point. Bran's entire story--oh, wait, Bran doesn't have one. Arya's entire storyline is about Sansa. It's all about, oh, Arya is being so mean to Sansa. Arya is not talking to Sansa. Arya doesn't know what she's going through, and what she has gone through. And this is true! Because that is how the story is being positioned. Arya is viewing EVERYTHING through a Sansa-lens. There is no Arya-based arc that allows for viewers to feel for her, to get that she's doing this, she's like this because of what she's gone through. Again, everything is through a Sansa-lens. Even that fantastic Arya-Brienne fight scene, as soon as it finished... what did we get? Sansa's point of view. It wasn't for Arya. It was for Sansa (and Littlefinger who is all about... wait for it! Sansa) that the scene was mostly done, not for Arya.

Even the scene with Bran and Arya was barely about Bran and Arya, but rather Sansa reacting to the news that Arya was indeed a killer with a list. Yes, we got Arya getting the dagger... which Sansa reacted to. The thrust of the scene was for Sansa's sake. Other than the Bran/Meera, and the Bran/Littlefinger scenes (and the latter tied into the Littlefinger/Sansa storyline), everything at Winterfell since Jon left--including every single Arya scene--has been about or relating to Sansa. And even the Jon scenes mostly revolved around Sansa.

I'm not saying that Sansa shouldn't be important, and I'm not saying that we shouldn't be seeing her story arc play out as well because we definitely should, but having her be the sole focal point and the only reason for Arya and, at this point (well, with only one episode left, it might as well be), Bran to even have a story is ridiculous. In the books--yes, I'm going there--Arya and Bran are bigger, more important characters than Sansa. Yet, in the show, they are barely supporting characters this season because D&D seemingly can't let go of their obsession to have Turner front-and-center at every opportunity. And that's really a shame because instead of giving her (as well as Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright) a chance to truly shine in a great story that highlights all THREE Starks (and actors--one of whom is already Emmy-nominated), they've given Turner the lead in a clunky, illogical, disappointing story where the Starks are dark and dim.
I agree with you now that I read this.

I think that the shortened season is to blame for a lot of the way the story is going this year. I still don't get why they had to shorten it. The big thing I heard was so that they could film in the snow since winter has come, but we spent the most time at Dragonstone and in the Reach...no snow. They spent more time North of the Wall in seasons past and had no problem with showing snow on screen. It just doesn't make sense to shorten the seasons of a show that is this popular. It has affected the story and what you bring up is a product of that. They are glossing over characters and story lines because they don't have enough episodes to further the story in the right way. At this point they have not only diminished Bran and Arya, but also Brienna, Pod, Theon.

I have read people defend that short season by saying it is expensive to produce GoT. I bet it is expensive, but they are making money hand over fist with that show, so to have less episodes takes money out of their pocket right?

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arabian
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Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:19 pm

Meg22 wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:52 pm
An assassin has little to do at Winterfell. Perhaps it will be the impetus for Arya to move on. Bran has moved beyond Winterfell and Starks, so if Winterfell isn't being seen through his eyes, then that reflects the character too.
You just actually made my point for me. Why aren't we seeing THESE stories for them, then? Why are we only seeing Sansa's story here at Winterfell? That is exactly my point. If there is no story for Arya or Bran at Winterfell, why aren't we seeing that? Why didn't Arya see that upon arriving and then turn around and go South? Why aren't we seeing Bran and his visions? Why aren't we seeing THEIR stories? Instead, we are only seeing them (well, mostly Arya, because we're really not seeing Bran) through Sansa's story. They don't have a storyline. They are merely supporting players in Sansa's storyline.
Meg22 wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:52 pm
This is Sansa's time to shine, and why not?
Really? Sansa (and Turner) have had a "time to shine" EVERY FLIPPING SEASON since the first. (With last season being especially potent.) There has not been one season when we haven't seen Sansa supposedly growing and learning and becoming stronger and getting a chance to shine. Every single season. Season 03 and 04 were the only ones for Arya/Maisie Williams. Poor Bran/Isaac Hempstead Wright never got one.

Oh, and Arya is NOT an assassin. She chose to walk away from that life when she left the Faceless Men. She has the tools of an assassin, but she is not an assassin. As I stated in another thread, it has been made very clear that Arya is not some little killing machine. She only kills those that have hurt others (mostly those who have hurt her or her loved ones, generally her loved ones). She didn't kill the actress, the women of the Frey household, the Lannister soldiers, etc. She was trained to kill, like soldiers; she has the skills, but she's not an assassin. She, like many other good characters on this show, she goes after those who hurt her own. (Olenna poisoning Joffrey--and setting up Sansa/Tyrion to take the fall, etc.)
Dgskdive wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:22 pm
I agree with you now that I read this.

I think that the shortened season is to blame for a lot of the way the story is going this year. I still don't get why they had to shorten it. The big thing I heard was so that they could film in the snow since winter has come, but we spent the most time at Dragonstone and in the Reach...no snow. They spent more time North of the Wall in seasons past and had no problem with showing snow on screen. It just doesn't make sense to shorten the seasons of a show that is this popular. It has affected the story and what you bring up is a product of that. They are glossing over characters and story lines because they don't have enough episodes to further the story in the right way. At this point they have not only diminished Bran and Arya, but also Brienna, Pod, Theon.

I have read people defend that short season by saying it is expensive to produce GoT. I bet it is expensive, but they are making money hand over fist with that show, so to have less episodes takes money out of their pocket right?
Apparently, D&D said they only needed X number of episodes to tell the rest of the story. The last couple of episodes have shown me they were wrong. We have really been shorted on characterization and that bothers me. I love this show a lot and have defended it against a lot of the criticism in past seasons, but this go-round I just don't understand their choices. They've taken so many shortcuts to get to key points that were unnecessary. Had they given us the normal number of episodes, those scenes could have been filled with character scenes, traveling scenes--which would have made people have with the logistics--that would have given us conversations, motivations, dealing with what is going on, leading to the fall-out, creating delicious tension. And we wouldn't have some of the plot-driven ridiculousness that is happening here and there. Ugh! I am disappointed, I will not lie.
Gendry: You shouldn't insult people that are bigger than you are.
Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.

Meg22
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:24 am

Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am

But we aren't just seeing Sansa's story at Winterfell. We're also seeing Arya and Bran's experience at Winterfell. You see Arya not quite fitting in, of still dealing with childhood resentments. You see Bran not involved with Winterfell anymore - his focus is on the Night King. Arya is getting as much screen time as Sansa, so I don't get your complaint. In any case, it's common to "rest" characters and storylines while things are happening elsewhere. Where was Cercei in the last episode? Or Jaime? Or Theon?

Arya is most certainly an assassin. If you assassinate people, you are an assassin. You don't have to be at the House of Black and White to be one, or even to have trained there. What makes you one is targeting someone to kill and then carrying it out. And Arya has certainly done that.

Sansa has been a victim for most of the show. Now she is SHINING ie. displaying her talents and having them appreciated as Lady of Winterfell. Bran was selected to be the Three Eyed Raven, Arya was selected to be a faceless man, Jon was chosen to be Commander of the Nightwatch and King of the North. So why can't Sansa have her turn?

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arabian
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:59 pm

Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
But we aren't just seeing Sansa's story at Winterfell. We're also seeing Arya and Bran's experience at Winterfell. You see Arya not quite fitting in, of still dealing with childhood resentments.
No, we are not. We are seeing Sansa's story. That is it. We are seeing Arya reacting to Sansa's storyline. This is not Arya's experience. It is Arya reacting to Sansa. This is Sansa's story, Arya is merely a supporting player to Sansa's lead role. You see Arya dealing with childhood resentments, I see Arya dealing with (for as little as it is), her sister's betrayals based on years of seeing betrayals left and right... but that is barely being explored because, again, we are seeing this story SOLELY through Sansa's point of view.
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
You see Bran not involved with Winterfell anymore - his focus is on the Night King.
Right, we picked up on that in the ONE teeny, tiny scene. That was it. So, no, we are not seeing Bran's experience. Last season, we saw Bran's experience, with his visions, with his travels--which were all pretty freaking awesome, we saw Bran's experience. Now, we are barely seeing Bran at all.
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
Arya is getting as much screen time as Sansa, so I don't get your complaint.
(A) No, she is not getting as much screentime. Firstly, there was an entire episode that Maisie Williams did not appear in, and Sophie Turner has had more screentime overall than has Williams. And, (B), screen time is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the STORY itself. Sansa is the focus of the story. The story is about Sansa, everything that is happening in Winterfell is about, is focused on, revolves around Sansa. We aren't getting Arya trying to acquaint herself with home, spending time with Brienne, or Bran, or with the weapons master, maybe wanting to go and find Jon, something, anything that is an actual Arya-based storyline.

Instead, her entire storyline is based around Sansa. Meanwhile, Sansa's storyline is about being the Lady of Winterfell, her relationship with Jon, her relationship with Arya, her relationship with Littlefinger, her being this great leader, her relationship with Brienne, her history, her future, how she's handling herself. When scenes end with Arya and others (i.e., the Arya/Brienne fight, the Arya/Bran/Sansa scene), the final shots revolve around Sansa's reaction or in relation to Sansa--Littlefinger's reaction which is in relation to Sansa. Every aspect of Arya's storyline is ABOUT Sansa. Sansa's story is all about Sansa. Now, I don't have a problem with Sansa's story. I think it's a great one for HER. But Arya and Bran deserve their own stories as well.
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
In any case, it's common to "rest" characters and storylines while things are happening elsewhere. Where was Cercei in the last episode? Or Jaime? Or Theon?
Except Sansa hasn't been rested. She's been seen in every episode like Jon and Dany and Tyrion. She's being treated like a lead character. Whereas Arya and Bran--who, again, in the books ARE two of the FIVE lead characters with Jon, Dany and Tyrion--are being treated as supporting (or in Bran's case, practically non-existent) characters in Sansa's story.
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
Arya is most certainly an assassin. If you assassinate people, you are an assassin. You don't have to be at the House of Black and White to be one, or even to have trained there. What makes you one is targeting someone to kill and then carrying it out. And Arya has certainly done that.
Nope, nope, nope. That is not the definition of an assassin. This is the definition of an assassin: a murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons. Neither of those fit Arya Stark. So, no, she is most definitely not an assassin. Unless you want to go with the "murderer" part of the definition. But if you do, that fits Sansa as well because she murdered Ramsey (deservedly, but then all of Arya's kills were deserved in this landscape as well). So, no, Arya is not an assassin. And if you go by your definition: " targeting someone to kill and then carrying it out," well, again, that definition fits what Lady Olenna did with Joffrey and what Sansa did with Ramsey. Me, personally, I wouldn't call either one of them assassins, yet, according to your definition, both of them are.
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:30 am
Sansa has been a victim for most of the show. Now she is SHINING ie. displaying her talents and having them appreciated as Lady of Winterfell. Bran was selected to be the Three Eyed Raven, Arya was selected to be a faceless man, Jon was chosen to be Commander of the Nightwatch and King of the North. So why can't Sansa have her turn?
Sansa stopped being a victim last season and started showing her growth and began to shine. To discount all she accomplished last season is a disservice to Sansa. Oh, and, by the way... Arya has been a victim too, you know. She has been struggling, fighting, without family, comfort and love, friendless and alone for much of the time since she saw her father beheaded in season 01. Being "selected to be a faceless man" wasn't a gift; it wasn't her having a turn to shine. She hasn't had a "turn" yet AT ALL. That girl has had ZERO happiness since episode 08 of season 01. She's been beaten, starved, held prisoner, tortured, nearly killed multiple times, believed all of her family was killed and survived literally all on her own for years from a prepubescent age.

So, tell me when does ARYA get her turn? Sansa HAS had her turn and is still getting her turn. Which, again I DO NOT MIND! I just want to know why the hell Arya and Bran don't get to have theirs as well. And the fact that they are not, but that ONLY Sansa is in Winterfell is why this story is failing as it is because IT IS. There have been numerous and growing complaints about the Winterfell storyline. Obviously, there is a problem. My reasoning, I think makes a lot of sense.
Gendry: You shouldn't insult people that are bigger than you are.
Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.

Meg22
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:24 am

Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Of course it's Arya's storyline. She's not standing on the sidelines being passive. She's actively threatening Sansa. If Arya is reacting to Sansa, then it equally works the other way - Sansa is reacting to Arya. And it's clear that Arya is operating on childhood resentments - she refers to Sansa's pretty handwriting while she was rapped over the knuckles for not being able to write so well. She contemptuously refers to Sansa's love of pretty clothes. It's the lens in which she judges Sansa's actions, past and present.

So what if we're not seeing Bran? He'll become the focus later. But the message now is that Bran is remote from Winterfell. He's got other things on his mind. Bran is not really part of the Winterfell storyline unless you count the weirwood tree.

You can't have two characters in a room, reacting off each other, and say it's all about just one of them. Arya is not just sitting there while Sansa talks. If not for Arya, this storyline wouldn't exist. I could argue that it's all about Arya. Sansa is just reacting to a situation that Arya has created.

Arya is an assassin. That's what they do at the House of Black and White. They kill in exchange for money. She assassinated the money lender and has since been using her skills for personal reasons. But she's an assassin. And Lady Olenna is an assassin by your definition - she killed Joffrey for political reasons. Tommen was easier for Margaery to control.

Arya has been traveling. It's common for characters to "disappear" while they do. But once Arya got to Winterfell, she was as prominent there as Sansa. And your complaint is about what's happening at Winterfell.

Sansa wasn't appreciated for her skills until the Battle of the Bastards at the end of last season. And even then she's had to overcome people's misconceptions of who they think she is - Jon, the lords of the Vale, and now Arya. This is not about suffering - it's about validation of your talents. Bran, Jon and Arya got it seasons ago.

I'm sure your reasoning makes a lot of sense to you. To me it seems like griping over nothing.

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arabian
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:18 pm

I just can't. You're completely ignoring every single point of mine.
Gendry: You shouldn't insult people that are bigger than you are.
Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.

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Grandmaester Flash
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:53 pm

Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:53 pm
Arya is an assassin. That's what they do at the House of Black and White. They kill in exchange for money. She assassinated the money lender and has since been using her skills for personal reasons. But she's an assassin.
If you mean the man who sold ship insurance, no, she didn't assassinate him. She went after Meryn Trant instead and was punished by being blinded. She was also ordered to assassinate Lady Crane, but backed out of it. She failed to carry out both the assassinations that she was tasked with.

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arabian
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:35 pm

Grandmaester Flash wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:53 pm
Meg22 wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:53 pm
Arya is an assassin. That's what they do at the House of Black and White. They kill in exchange for money. She assassinated the money lender and has since been using her skills for personal reasons. But she's an assassin.
If you mean the man who sold ship insurance, no, she didn't assassinate him. She went after Meryn Trant instead and was punished by being blinded. She was also ordered to assassinate Lady Crane, but backed out of it. She failed to carry out both the assassinations that she was tasked with.
Thank you. Someone who actually has been paying attention and watching Arya's storyline... which Meg22 clearly has not been. (For example... claiming that Arya has always been jealous of Sansa. So, so, soooooooo not the case. They are two very different girls and have not been jealous of the other because of how different they are.)
Gendry: You shouldn't insult people that are bigger than you are.
Arya: Then I wouldn't get to insult anyone.

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