I agree with those of you who think that Sandor didn’t go to Sansa’s room with the intention of raping her. He was far gone ,dead drunk and terrified, so he went there looking for comfort and understanding. She was the only one who had ever treated him like a human being, because, for everyone else, he was either a fearsome monster or a very useful weapon, a killing machine that carried orders without questioning any of them.
He also wanted to take her away from KL and he offered himself as a protector, shifting his loyalty from the Lannisters to her. He offered her the only thing he had to offer: his protection, his services as an effective killing machine. He was nothing but that, as that was what he had been trained for since he was a child, and the Lannisters valued him only as a mighty weapon. Without killing, he had no purpose and no meaning, no place in the feudal system they lived in, no home and no way to make a living.
I don’t think we should judge feudal warriors according to modern day moral codes, because their first and foremost duty was loyalty to their liege lord and not complying with that meant death and disgrace, not only for the offender but for his family if he had one. Feudalism was based on this kind of bonds and they couldn’t be broken because they were the axis of their society. This is why I think that holding men like Sandor responsible for carrying out their liege lords’ orders is too simplistic when we know they had no choice. They had to obey if they wanted to survive. Disobedience was paid with one’s life.
Sandor’s job cosisted of killing. The way he killed may seem brutal to us, but his trademark stroke was clean, effective and, to some extent, an act of mercy when compared to other warriors’ and fighters’ cruel methods, like the Mountain’s and his men’s, who made death extremely painful and agonizing.
If we are realistic, we have to realise that, in time of war, men do horrible things, despicable things, like pillaging, raping and using unnecessary violence. At first, I though Sandor may have raped women as well, because crimes like this were committed in past wars, and even in modern wars, not only by monsters but, what is much more frightening, by ordinary men who would have never done something like that in normal circumstances. People who have never been violent or have never committed sexual crimes become incredibly violent during war time, do unspeakable execrable things. So, I thought that Sandor could have been like them, but later I realised that this wasn’t like him. GRRM shows us how Jaime Lannister knew Sandor wasn’t responsible for Saltpans because raping and cruelty on the victims was not in his character, that Sandor was a killer but not rapist and definitely not a monster like Gregor.
Sandor confessed all his crimes when he was dying and never admitted having raped, neither to Arya not to the elder brother, so I’m sure he wasn’t a rapist. I also think people may be taking that ‘I should have fucked her bloody before leaving her for that dwarf…’ too literally.
Sandor always speaks using really violent terms, perhaps to give people what they expect from him. As Tyrion said to Jon, if people despise you for something, you’d better make it your strength and then nobody will hurt you through that flaw that will no longer be a weakness. Everyone thinks Sandor is a beast, a monster, so be it. He creates this Hound persona and acts the monster like nobody else. He is giving them what they want, what they expect from him and stealing from them the power to make him feel pitiful and grotesque. People don’t ridicule someone they fear, they respect them.
I think Sandor speaks like a cruel monster, but that ‘fuck her bloody’ is not exactly the same as ‘rape her bloody’ and this difference that some people find irrelevant may be dramatic. He went to Sansa looking for the only person that meant something to him in his lowest hours, the only one who made him feel human, and offered to take her with him. He offered her the only valuable thing he had, his prowess as a fighter and a killer. He craved human contact and jerked her towards him. Perhaps he wanted a kiss, perhaps only to hold her in his arms but she closed her eyes and the nightmare that was his life spat on him again. She could not look at his face; he was nothing but a monster and her inability to look at his face reminded him of that, and that whatever hope he could have of being just a man, like any other, was useless.
He was wrong, it was not revulsion that made her close her eyes but he took it for that and that triggered him. He acted like the monster everybody thought he was and from then on I’m not sure what crossed his mind. I don’t think he wanted to kill her, but I can’t be sure. I guess he wanted to get from her what other men could get with honeyed words and nice smiles. He wanted to claim that song that neither Tyrion nor Littlefinger (they both rejected her fondness for songs) were interested in but he was. He used violence to get it because he was a monster and that’s the only way monsters can get anything from sweet maidens, or so he thought.
Was rape on his mind? I’m not sure. I think it wasn’t his intention when he looked for her but, in his derailed state, it might have crossed his mind. Anyway, he didn’t do it and that’s what matters.
I don’t think Sandor is a rapist and that, if he wanted sex with Sansa, it was consensual sex what he desired. It was acceptance he wanted, her looking at his face and accepting him. When a man craves acceptance like he does, neither rape nor coercion to obtain sex will do for him.
Perhaps he could have coerced her to have sex with him. Surely he could have taken advantage of her vulnerable situation and his role as his only protector to get that from her and perhaps , in his darkest moments, this possibility crossed his mind but he didn’t do it anyway. He didn’t rape her and he didn’t coerce her to give in either, that’s a fact. Her song of mercy made him reconcile himself with his humanity. His monster persona could do execrable things, perhaps even take advantage of a little girl but not Sandor. He could never do that.
Out of instinct, Sansa knew which song to offer him, as well as she perceived when he posed danger for her and when he was no longer a threat. That’s how she knew when to cup his cheek and that this was the right thing to do. Where reason was useless, instinct and feelings were there to aid Sansa and she knew what to do. Sansa is incredibly perceptive, what we know about the BBB scene in her room is through her eyes, mind and feelings and we have no one else to trust. If she still thought he deserved mercy and her prayers, if she touched his face and felt his tears, I guess she was not wrong. She is no longer that silly girl who believed Cersei’s lies and her capacity for empathy is huge. I think she understood Sandor better than anyone, including himself, and she reached to the man in him and found him there.
‘Fuck her bloody’, that’s what he said to Arya, and they are awful words but he didn’t say ‘rape’ her and it is not the same. GRRM chooses words very carefully, and fuck is not the same as rape. Even when Sandor was trying to make Arya kill him, when he was suffering unbearable pain, both physical and mental, when he said he’d killed Mycah and laughed about it, he couldn’t bring himself to say he should have raped Sansa, because he never wanted that, never, not even in his most desperate moment. If GRRM decided not to use the word rape, not to put it on Sandor’s lips when he was in pure torment and on his deathbed, there must be a reason for this choice. I don’t believe Sandor wanted to rape Sansa.