Female Badassery on Game of Thrones: Sansa Stark

There are plenty of examples of women not being treated right on Game of Thrones but this is not that kind of post. I will be talking about two specific women I love but I feel like get a bad rep. [I have genuinely been defending her with all my strength,]

Yes, Arya is not on this. This due to her being everyone’s favourite and the thick plot armour she possesses, therefore making her kind of boring to me now.

Sansa Sassqueen Stark

There is a stigma around femininity; feminine qualities and liking feminine things is weak often perceived as weak. Further perpetuating the women hating women cliche. Sansa is a Lady, who likes all the pretty things along with all that this title holds, she grows to see the flaws in her idealised thinking but still holds true to being a woman.

Besides her name, she is not extraordinary in any way. She is not trained to be a faceless man, she is not the princess who was promised and does not have dragons. She is by every definition of the word ordinary, yet she has survived in a world that wants her dead, eventually rising to a leader.

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There are only so few characters who can have such a subtle development over the seasons. She starts of as a child, a spoilt naive child, who honestly I hated because she said shit like this:

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Despite the red flags and warnings, she still wanted this. Her dreams were quickly taken away and when she was no more than a child begged for her father’s life and was close to organising a plea deal for him. When tragedy hit even harder she still came back with some zingy one-liners but not bad enough to get her killed.

Credits to this amazing thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/freefolk/comments/b3yl5j/i_dont_think_sansa_gets_enough_credit_for_sassing/

She used the “Joffrey is my one true love” line and it is what kept her alive.

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She dealt with a lot of abuse from Joffrey, Merrel and Cersei but was resilient. When she met Margaery, she took to her like a sister and once again, dreamed of marrying her prince (Loras). There was plenty wrong with that set up and yes, it may even be stupid for her to have hope, but I think it speaks volumes. She is still kind to people and led to saving Dontos’ life. She has compassion, a quality which often time is shunned.

The two major issues I had after this point was (1) her treatment of Tyrion and (2) why she didn’t go with the hound when she could escape. These can be justified upon further thought.

  1. As far as we the audience know, Tyrion is not a bad guy. However to her he is another Lannister, a scheming bunch who so far have been terrible to her. Despite this, they did grow to have an understanding and a mutual respect.
  2. As much as she feared Joffrey and King’s Landing, there were lines that people could not cross due to her influence. Cersei is fundamentally a bad person but Sansa knew what she would and would not do. She knew nothing of Sandor and feared him, which is understandable. She knows what he is capable of and even if he would never hurt her, he can not guarantee her safety

What I like as well is that for a long time Sansa was still a brat, her development was a slow burn, which is shown more later. She is still a brat, especially to Shae, but once again they started to have a pretty good relationship.

Finally, when Sansa had a real opportunity to escape she took it. Again, judgement-wise she was not smart for trusting Dontos but she sure as hell didn’t trust Petyr Baelish.

Up to this point, she has been observing everyone. She even knows Cersei better than Tyrion and has learnt by observing Tyrion how to survive by using your brain. The same goes for Baelish.

When Lysa died, she had no problem concocting a story to ensure her survival. She knew what she was doing. She came back ready to slay.

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However, this lead to her only facing a hell worse than the one she just escaped. I’m not going to get into what she endured but focus on her escape. She ESCAPED hell. Again. And it was no easy feat but she never gave up.

Then she forgave Theon.

Once again, she is ready to kick ass. She is the one who wanted to take the North because as she said no one is safe as long as Ramsay is around. Further proven when he kidnaps Rickon, who Sansa wants to save.

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Also when Jon agreed to fight for their home, he ignored her battle plan which is much better than his. Further showing that she is much smarter than everyone gives her credit for.

She was finally grown up enough to make amends.

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When hope was lost, she saved the Jon and was the victor. She won the battle of the bastards.

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This line doesn’t hold up well because of the circumstances in which she says it but she is not wrong.

She played Baelish like a pro then delivered her most iconic line.

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In the latest season, she’s the only one calling out Jon. stating that the people of the North made them their king and he gave it to Danaerys purely because he loves her.

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She also was ready to give the loyal families a reward but Jon didn’t listen to her and surprise surprise — they betrayed them once more.

She has shown she knows how to be a Warden of the North, ensuring that armour is being made properly, rations are given out and ensuring that people get rest before going into another battle. She cares about the North and the people.

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Finally, as pandering as I thought this was, she knows how to rock a crown.

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