Jonquil (Narcissus Jonquilla), more commonly known as the daffodil, is amongst the first flowers to bloom in the spring. The flower is supposed to symbolize desire, sympathy and returned affection (or more literary “Have pity on my passion” and “I desire a return of affection”). It can also be noted that the daffodil, through its annual flowering, is linked to new life and hope – proving that even the harshest winter will not stop the forthcoming of spring. The Jonquil is also linked to the myth surrounding Hades and Persephone.
Persephone herself was a vegetation goddess and known as the Maiden. It is said that Hades fell in love with her, when he found her plucking lilies, and promptly took her with him to his kingdom - the underworld. Some say the lilies hanged their heads for Persephone’s sorrow, thus becoming daffodils.
While staying in the underworld, Persephone was tricked by Hades into eating four pomegranate seeds, dooming her to spend eternity with him. Persephone was later saved by the gods’ messenger, Hermes. However, she was still obliged to spend four months every year in the underworld, symbolizing the four pomegranate seeds she had consumed. This caused her to become both the Maiden and the queen of the underworld. She had now become a goddess associated with both life and death.
The myth can also be viewed as an allegory for planting seed, where Persephone herself represents the seed. Each year she must leave the realm of the living and venture under the earth - resulting in a barren landscape above - until she brings spring and blooms once more.
It’s interesting to note that the myth and pomegranate-scenario comes up in ASOIAF through Sansa’s interaction with Littlefinger. In the series we see her carried off to the Eyrie, where she is hidden from the living. No one knows where she is, or if she’s even alive anymore. While hiding in “the underworld”, Sansa is offered half a pomegranate by Littlefinger – luckily she declines (perhaps hinting at a escape from both the Eyrie and her association with death). This may also hint towards Sansa keeping her title as “the Maiden” and escaping Littlefinger’s advances (“…May I come into your castle…” anyone..?)
However, Sansa’s not just known as the maiden made flesh, she’s also put in the role of Jonquil by several of the series’ characters (Ser Dontos with his fantasies and Sandor with his song request). So when pondering who her Florian might be, just remember the symbolism of the Jonquil; desire, sympathy and returned affections – perhaps it might just turn out fine for Sansa after all.