I’m already having serious Game of Thrones withdrawals so I’m just going to live in denial and keep it going. Let’s recap what happened with my girl Sansa Stark this season, shall we?
When the season opened, Sansa and Theon had (somehow
magically without breaking any bones or dying) escaped from Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell.
With the Bolton troops (and hounds) hot on their trail, Brienne and Pod ride in
and save their asses from the Bolton men. Brienne pledges her loyalty to Sansa;
it’s what Catelyn would have wanted and it’s certainly what I wanted. With the
Hound long gone, Sansa is in serious need of a champion because, while she has learned
much about the game of thrones, she’s not exactly a warrior. Sansa Stark needs
a squad because there are a LOT of people who want her dead or held prisoner and
she deserves so much better.
Sansa makes her way to the Wall where she reunites with Jon
Snow—finally a Stark family reunion! They haven’t seen each other since they
were children at Winterfell, and the two never had the warmest of relationships
considering the whole bastard thing and the fact that, as a young girl, Sansa’s
whole world revolved around her training to become a proper lady. She dreamed
of being a princess and loved lemon cakes and stories about honorable knights
and ladies. Jon was basically not on her radar and she most likely (considering
she was always her mother’s daughter) looked down on him. Now they are both
grown and Sansa apologizes to Jon for the way she treated him when they were
young. After all Sansa’s trauma and all the schemes and machinations and lies
she has witnessed, she knows that Jon is the only person she can truly trust.
His name might be Snow, but as an adult Sansa realizes that he is truly a
Sansa tells Jon that they need to take Winterfell back from
the Boltons but Jon is initially resistant because, y’know, an army of undead
is coming to kill everyone and he’s just been literally dead so he’s probably a
little bit tired. But Sansa is insistent that they take their home back from
the sadistic sack of excrement known as Ramsay Bolton, who now also has their
brother Rickon. She will do it without Jon if she has to but Jon agrees even
though they have nowhere near the amount of troops they will need.
Enter Petyr Baelish, who meets with Sansa in secret. Littlefinger
offers her the protection of the Knights of the Vale and tells her that her
great uncle Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully is back in Riverrun and could provide
her with Tully forces. Sansa isn’t ready to trust Littlefinger because she
believes that he knew what kind of monster Ramsay was when he handed her over
to him—something he vehemently denies. Brienne’s got Sansa’s back and will kill
him without hesitation if Sansa tells her to do so, and Petyr knows this. He
says he will die if that is her wish but instead she just tells him she wants
nothing to do with him ever again.
Sansa doesn’t tell Jon about her meeting with Littlefinger
or the possibility of reinforcements from the Vale. Instead, Team Stark goes on
a recruitment mission to all of the northern houses still sworn to the Starks
(as well as to the wildlings, who have a friggin GIANT that would be incredibly
helpful). The biggest badass in Westeros turns out to be a young girl named
Lyanna Mormont, the no-nonsense Lady of Bear Island, who gives them House
Mormont’s support. They are not as lucky in other places and, except for the wildling
support and the 60-something Mormont troops, the trip is a bust.
Sansa ends up writing to Littlefinger and asking for the
assistance of the Knights of the Vale. Again, she doesn’t tell Jon. I know
Sansa has serious trust issues and I get that but still—this is pretty key
information to share with your brother who is attempting to formulate a battle
strategy when he doesn’t have enough troops. You don’t have to be a master war
strategist to know that. Sansa sends Brienne to Riverrun to try and get the
support of the Tullys but ultimately that is a failure.
Before the epic smackdown known as the Battle of the
Bastards, there is a parley between Team Stark and Ramsay Bolton, who continues
to be the Absolute Worst. Ramsay offers to call the whole thing off if he can
just have Sansa back for more marital torture, to which Jon snaps back that
they should just fight one on one and leave the rest of the men out of it.
Ramsay knows he would be absolutely destroyed by Jon so he’s like, “Nah, bro,
I’m just gonna let my men die while I kick back and chill.” Sansa doesn’t even
want to look at his stupid face for another second so she tells him, “You’re
going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well,” and then rides off into the
distance like the absolute boss that she has come to be. Seriously, I was so
Even on the verge of battle, knowing their forces are not
adequate, Sansa still refuses to be open about the Knights of the Vale. She
tries to get Jon to wait but neglects to share the key piece of information
that would actually get him to wait. So off to battle they go. Luckily
Littlefinger and the Knights arrive just in time to help the Stark forces
defeat the Boltons, but only after many (including Rickon) are killed. Sansa celebrates
the win by watching Jon beat the piss out of Ramsay and then later she feeds
him to his own dogs with a smile on her face. Revenge is exceptionally sweet in
this case, since Ramsay had been starving his own dogs so that he could feed
them some Stark meat. Ah, how the tables have turned. In the immortal words of
Beyoncé: BOY, BYE.
At long last, Ned Stark’s words have come true: Winter Is
Here. Sansa and Jon speak of who will lead the North and each of them believes
that the other would make the best ruler. Later, in the godswood, Littlefinger
(to absolutely no one’s surprise) tells Sansa that he wants to sit on the Iron
Throne with her by his side. Littlefinger believes that his mini-Catelyn is
ready to be his partner in crime and the always power-hungry Petyr Baelish
reveals his true intentions. Then he tries to lean in for a kiss and Sansa
shuts that down pretty quickly. She is on Team Jon.
Later on, when the North declares Jon Snow the King in the
North, Littlefinger is totally unimpressed with the choice. He looks at Sansa
from across the room with a look that says “are you happy now” and Sansa sits
next to Jon, looking like maybe she has a bit of buyer’s remorse. After all,
she doesn’t know what the audience knows about Jon’s true parentage. All she
knows is what Littlefinger reminded her: she is the trueborn daughter of Ned
and Catelyn Stark, born at Winterfell, and she has been through a lot to get
her home back.
Sansa is the only Stark child to actually have seen their
father’s beheading and then later, his head rotting on a spike. Among other
horrors, she’s been horribly abused by Joffrey and Cersei, married off twice,
and sadistically tortured and raped in her childhood home. She deserves to have
some power after having had absolutely none for so long. She deserves her
rightful place, and it seems like a slap in the face that she’s immediately
passed over for Jon. She exchanges a curious look with Littlefinger as the
North rallies around Jon and it remains to be seen what the two of them will do
going forward. What isn’t in question is that Sansa Stark is not a little girl
anymore. She has grown fierce and smart and strong—in every way her mother’s
daughter—and she will not be manipulated by Littlefinger or anyone else. If Sansa
decides she wants to be the Queen in the North, it is going to be her decision
and hers alone.