15 Jul The Rise of Sansa Stark
By Sisa Zaragoza
I never had a soft spot for Sansa Stark while watching the first few seasons of Game of Thrones. She is exactly the epitome of a girl that I never wanted to be – naïve, entitled and sometimes disloyal to who she is. She is so bent of achieving that status that she was brainwashed to think – a queen who stood beside a king, but the never the Queen who really ruled. To me, she is the weakest and I was wondering why her character has survived until the latter seasons.
Sansa was brought up thinking that her only place is beside Joffrey, the would be king of the 7 kingdoms and she fell in love with the idea of a fairytale – a fairytale that would send the next years of her life down misery lane. She believed too much that there was goodness in their hearts Joffrey, Tyrion, Little Finger. She was passed on from one king to the next character that could make her survive. In my feminist thinking, I believed that Sansa didn’t know how to survive without any man beside her because it is my belief that women like her were conditioned to be just that. Their self-worth revolved around a man, their persona is dictated by the man beside her – never mind if the guy is a total asshole. It reminded me of the many things I saw in real life – women clinging to a man even when they were abusive just because they can’t stand on their two feet. That was Sansa to me, a pushover until she was raped by Bolton Ramsey on their wedding night in the presence of Theon Greyjoy.
I don’t know if the character of Sansa was brilliantly portrayed by actress Sophie Turner that I got to see the pain of that torture and the rising of a new understanding that she, Sansa, the girl that I didn’t have respect for in the series Game of Thrones, transitioned from a girl to a woman of power. In season 5, I knew things were about to change for Sansa.
In Season 6, I saw the transformation of Sansa Stark, from the timid and unsuspecting girl that she was, she became a conniving and manipulative woman that every other female character in Game of Thrones has grown up to be. Pain, they say has a way of making you tougher. In this case, it shows the reality that pain can make you a very different person. Conniving and manipulative, I say? Indeed. She stood up for herself this epic scene in Season 5 where she told Myranda, the girlfriend of Bolton Ramsey this: “I am Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can’t frighten me.”
Finally, she says who she is: SANSA STARK of Winterfell, without any reference to any man she is with. I believe, even in the real world, that no woman should be defined by the man (or woman for that matter) she is with. She is who she is. Her name, removing all the surnames that were once or can be attached to her name, is who we really are. And when she plainly said I AM SANSA STARK OF WINTERFELL, I knew she was growing up and living to be what she was really meant to be. A woman who is worthy to rule – Winterfell or the whole 7 Kingdoms.
In Season 6 we saw how Sansa stood behind Jon Snow and his quest to conquer Winterfell and restore their rightful home. Conniving with Littlefinger, she asks for the help of the Knights of the Vale, without even telling Jon Snow. If you are a tactician, if you are indeed part of a team, then you would have informed the so-called commander of every little detail of your plan, every resource that you can manage to get, so the whole plan would be solid. Reading through the book Art of War has made me understand that the less of your men who died in the war the better the victory. In this case, a good number of Snow’s men died, including the giant before the Knights of the Vale came. It was mayhem as we saw how Jon and his men were flanked by Ramsey’s soldiers. Not a very wise move from a supposed seasoned commander. How do you get yourself entrapped by the enemies soldiers? But then again, thank heavens for Sansa and the Knights of the Vale that they have managed to “save” the remaining of Jon Snow and his men.
But the best part of it all was Sansa’s revenge. Nothing could have pleased me more than seeing Bolton Ramsey in the hands of the girl that she has abused. That defining moment when Sansa was emotionless looking at Ramsey represents the inner feelings that all girls must have. Life would have been better if revenge was placed in our hands. This would have settled the equilibrium of things, that what man has sowed, he will reap 100-fold!
Manipulative Sansa has managed to remember what Ramsey said the night before when she and Jon Snow negotiated for the former’s surrender. Ramsey said that he would feed Jon Snow to his hounds, those whom he has starved for a good number of days. And she would do just that, only to Ramsey and not to Snow. This scene reminds me of the quote: “Hungry dogs are never loyal. They are only loyal to those who have food.”Sadly, this has become a fact even for people, and she who has food has now become the master.
I am sure that you have cheered on Sansa as she walked away while the hounds tore Ramsey part by part and flesh by flesh. He got what he deserved. She got what she deserved. The equilibrium of life was set once more.
I am anticipating the character development of Sansa Stark in Season 7 and I am not hoping that she would go back to the nice, friendly, naïve girl that she was. And deep inside I am hoping that she would be real this time. I am expecting that Sansa would be darker and would now be a player in the Game of Thrones. Revenge doesn’t make you a better person. If anything, revenge makes you darker, as evident in the mindset of Sansa’s sister Arya who has already made a hit list for herself (that is another story altogether). Revenge is not good. Revenge is never good. But holy shit, it just makes you feel good to see the fall of your enemies. And I am guessing, it is even better when you are the one causing it.
Yes, Sansa will be a bitch, a dark, conniving, manipulative and vengeful bitch in Season 7. Are we expecting anything less?