Sansa and Theon Aren’t “Redemption Arc” Characters
Hey Big D and Gene,
So, I’ve been hearing a LOT of people talking about “redemption archs” for Theon and Sansa specifically, and for many seasons. And I don’t get why anyone is on board with this, whether they like what they perceive as redemption or it or hate it.
Unpopular opinion: Sansa and Theon are not “redemption arch” characters. They are contrast characters to Arya and AJon. Two sisters, and two outcast “brothers” all raised by the same dad, but very different outcomes based on their individual character guiding their choices.
GRRM’s characters are shades of grey. “Redemption arch” implies, this one time at band camp I stuck a lute in my vajam-jam, but now I’m a married with 2 kids and a dog and go to church every Sunday. OR vice versa.
In these conversations about “Redemption Archs”, fans often cite forgiveness, righting wrongs, or some specific act of courage, strength, bravery, etc.
First, forgiveness is about the person doing the forgiven, not the person asking for it. Asking for, seek, or expecting forgiveness, doesn’t really say much about a person, contrary to popular belief. (I’m sure we all know people that go to church so they can be sinners the rest of the week.)
And second, the misdeeds, cowardice, selfishness, stupidity, and the consequences that result cannot be undone. There are no do-overs for being raped, having your one-eyed-bishop lopped off, or death. In fact, I would argue those ordeals exaggerate and expose who people are at their core… the simple truth that “adversity reveals someone true character”.
So there is really isn’t redemption to be had when we talk Sansa and Theon. The damage is done. There are only more choices looking forward in hopes that people will grow and learn from their mistakes – to consciously alter their shade of grey, if only for a moment.
Am I missing something here? It’s like we are all in a GRRM Theme club, and the first rule is we aren’t suppose to talk about GRRM themes…
Looking forward to the DEEP DIVE! thanks – Stacey E
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