|Reviews for Into the Wood|
| IWasAFairyPrincessOnceToo chapter 40 . 8/22
I wish you had continued the story. It's much different from other stories about Sansa and Sandor in that he isn't outwardly tormented by his appearance and blood thirsty and she doesn't remain a weak damsel for very long. I adore how you took your time to develop their relationship so that when Sandor does start finding himself attracted to her, it doesn't seem creepy, needy, rushed, or awkward.
| Artemisia chapter 1 . 7/21
OMG this is just amazing. It only took me a night and some rest hours to finish reading the whole 40 chapters. I LOVE IT. Your work is sooooo beautiful! This is the best Sansan fanfic I've read EVER! I love the scene they share cheese and blackberries and ride together under the sun in the woods, it's so beautiful oh i want to cry
| MBtheDREAMwiz chapter 40 . 5/4
I absolutely love this story and am very impressed with your writing style! The interactions between the characters are truly realistic and I find myself imagining this world quite vivdely! I do hope you continue it sometime in the future! :)
| MikasaBanana chapter 20 . 1/12
i have to be honest ...at first ..im a bit annoyed at your writing..its so poetic! dang. i like fast paced stories with action and yours is a bit dreamy.. but wow you made it wonderful and entertaining. please update soon...
| Fencing Supplies chapter 1 . 1/12
Wow. Fantastic handling of this couple. They are so over-romanced and at the same time so under-developed, and I think you've done the best thing possible for them which is just hitting all the obvious wrong points with this pairing and then just molding them with those as the foundation. Premo. Glad this is one of the highest rating fic for this pairing because now you have influence over where other people are inspired to take it.
Thankyou for such a different tone from the usually fanfiction approach to romance and drama.
| Mrs. Thanduil chapter 40 . 12/18/2014
I swear I sat down and read the whole story in one go. It's truly fantastic, you have a story that is a very realistic possibility of the 'what if'. An excellent job and I hope some day you continue this story.
| Lomesa chapter 6 . 11/20/2014
Chapter 6 was an interesting chapter.
I like how Sansa imagines Rob's hand in place of the hound's in this chapter echo's a part in the first book (I think, I've only seen the quote in isolation) where Sansa mistakes the Hound's hand on her shoulder for that of her father's. The fact that it's Rob this time round is interesting... but I'm not completely sure what you mean by it.
And you parallel the hound with Eddard Stark again, I believe,in the bit where Sandor is sharpening his sword. Eddard does the same in a very similar pose next to the pool in the godswood.
Then there is the last direct comparison where Sansa thinks about how her father once sold her and what the hound plans to do.
Oh wait a minute, then there's the last line, "For a while she dreamt of her father, but it was the Hound's warm hand on her writ that woke her, and after she's stumbled over to her pallet, she didn't dream at all."
Hmmm... I guess this has to do with the patriarchal society which is trapping Sansa in it's little cage, where she is an object to be sold. I guess this also, partly, makes the fact that she leaves him important.
In a world where both father and husband serve the role of protector Sansa is just being handed down from man to man. This fic gives her a chance at independence?
Oh, and that old saying which tells us that daughters marry men like their fathers.
And wanted to mention the wrist grabbing. I can swear I read something about it in the "From Pawn to Player" essays. Something to do with the romantic aspect of the relationship.
This chapter is the only chapter where emphasis is placed on her family, if I remember correctly, which strikes me as odd? But then again this is an work in progress.
Your very entertained reader
| Lomesa chapter 5 . 11/20/2014
And so we enter the woods and the fun truly begins...
You manage to create the wood so well with so little description. Reading from Chapter 4 and onwards really gave me the feeling of sinking into a dream. The atmosphere you created was truly magical. In the woods everyday things somehow became touched with a sense of the unknown through Sansa's eyes. The symbolic value of the woods as a place beyond man's power, a place where not everything is as it seems to be, a place of the subconscious, a very female. The setting really shines in this story. You turn it into something very relevant to Sansa's arc. I also think I might be missing something connected to the old gods and their connection to trees and woods, which I know very little of, but oh well.
What is equally wonderful is the way you ground this very dreamlike, abstract atmosphere with your descriptions of the reality of travelling. This earthy realism contrasts so well with the strong symbolic nature of this story and keeps it very relatable.
Another contrast I like is the descriptions of Sandor. You get a distinct idea of his power as a warrior, but instead of romanticizing him you also ground him firmly with the dirt and grime of battle and travel are reminded that he is flesh and blood. Imperfect. Human. The mention of blood on his is also a reminder that he is very much a killer, despite the other things he might also be. There is also that almost petulant, childlike jut of his under lip. Cute, laughably so, in a character like Sandor. Nice touch. But the little bit of description that I loved was Sandor's constant coughing in the smoke of the fire. I'm not certain why it happens, but I'd like to think that it's for the same reason his voice is described as a rasp. I guess the hot air from the fire and the ash damaged his throat as he screamed when he was burnt. The coughing adds a touch of vulnerability to the character that is oddly endearing.
On a side note, I had the great misfortune of discovering these characters and this story on the weekend that I was supposed to study philosophy... Procrastination at its best.
This review is a bit rambled but I guess it will do.
| Lomesa chapter 1 . 11/20/2014
Goodness gracious this fic is good.
And by good I mean enthralling, the type of story that draws you in and won't quite let you go until a few days later. The type of story that has me jumping from my chair and going for a quick walk in the garden to just get over how wonderful it is.
It's been a while since I enjoyed a piece of writing so much. And I'd like to thank you for giving us such a treat. You really are a talented writer. Do you have anything else published? If so, I'd love to read it.
I've read this fan fiction twice now. It's actually the Sandor/Sansa fic I've read. I haven't read the books yet, and I've only watched the first half of the TV show. And for that reason I'm probably missing a lot in this fic. BUT I have read the "From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa" essays. Which helps. It was a fan art titled "Knights are for Killing" that made me curious about Sandor. I hopped off to fanfiction, read your fic and was hooked.
But enough about me and more about this lovely, lovely fic. Also I'd like to warn you, English is not my first language and as I mostly use it for academic writing it can get a bit too formal sometimes.
The first thing I noticed was how concise the writing was. It's trimmed well. It feels like each and every word has a purpose. And those word did an excellent job in establishing a vivid image of Sandor as a character and an almost overwhelmingly masculine presence in the story.
What also endeared me to the story early on was the incident with the hairpin. It was such a simple little thing, but it said so much. The way Sansa was able to use such a harmless, pretty womanly thing to get succeed in getting beneath Sandor's armour after so many warriors had failed was a powerful image. And it had a hint of future tragedy as well...
All in all I think your first few chapters had a great sense of excitement and suspense which does a great job of pulling the reader into the story. As a fan fiction specifically these first chapters also do a great job because of it's focus on Sandor, which probably made a lot of fans very, very happy indeed.
Prepare yourself for a volley of reviews
| moogle chapter 40 . 11/3/2014
just wanted to say that, like everyone, I'm enamored with this story and would love to read more of it. I realize this probably won't happen, as it's been almost a year with no update, so do you have any other stories we could read? whether they're fanfiction or original stories, I would love to read them!
| kayleigh22012 chapter 40 . 10/25/2014
I've just spent the last few days rereading this. This was one of the first fics I read in this fandom & it remains one of my very favorite. I hope you still have more planned for it. I love it so.
| Guest chapter 40 . 9/24/2014
This story is absolutely beautiful and so true to the characters. I realize it's been a while since you last updated, but I do hope that you'll return to this someday! Something this well-written deserves an ending.
| vladivostok chapter 3 . 8/27/2014
Man... I feel weird shipping these two, but Icanthelpehht!
| StarEIz chapter 22 . 8/2/2014
Awesome! That was so great :D I can't wait to read what happens next!
| furby chapter 40 . 6/28/2014
1st, I apologize if my comment about chapter 15 sounded too harsh. But I stand by it.
"This chapter contains a nonconsensual act. - W.G." And I asked the author to delete that line, because it, "spoiled."
1) No need for an apology, or a "trigger." Nothing happens any worse than some commercials.
2) Actually, I'm not sure there *is* a word, "nonconsensual," though we all understood it.
3) But the real problem is that this apology or warning takes us out of the story. . . and is totally unnecessary. These days, the words "nonconsensual act," might sound like rape - or worse. By putting that (unnecessary) warning at the front of the chapter, you not only slant our preconceptions, you take us out of the "willful suspension of disbelief."
The warning is not only unnecessary, it is misleading and an antithesis to your story as a whole.
THAT said, I have to agree with the others. This is a remarkably well-told story and I LOVE it!
Mr. Gilman, I think you have written a WONDERFUL story and you should be as proud of it!
For all of you waiting past November for the next chapter? The story may well be over. It stands.
We already know how it ends. Sansa leaves.
We already know the HOUND will have nothing if/when she leaves. And we know that he has his reasons for not telling her the truth, and his reasons for feeling unworthy. We don't NEED to see that last chapter where he wakes up to find her gone. THIS LAST CHAPTER already shows us that he will be robbed of what little hope he may have had.
Further, as someone has pointed out, Sansa's POV has referenced her future self reflecting back on how she feels or reflects on what has happened. Sandor never does.
Everything - in this version of the story - ends for Sandor Clegane when Sansa leaves.
And for a storyteller, why not let it end poignantly? Why tell 7 or 8 more chapters of Sandor's hope and burgeoning love when he so eloquently expressed it at the creek?
You know how how he feels.
You know how she felt.
That's the story.
It is ACHINGLY beautiful as told. Do you really need that last chapter to tell you how empty or lost or pained he'd be to find that she had left? Isn't it great to leave it where he is so hopeful, when
we know she leaves?
Walter Gilman, sir, you have crafted an excellent story!