Game of Thrones Did Right By Sansa


Sansa Stark has changed dramatically since we saw her in the first episode of Game of Thrones. She started the series young, naive and self-absorbed, and, in the final season, she has proven herself to be mature, level-headed, and strong. 

When Sansa is reunited with The Hound in Episode Four of Season Eight, he calls her a “stupid little bird.” She responds, alluding to two men who used and brutalized her: “Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life.”

It’s true Sansa is much stronger and wiser than she was when she last saw The Hound, but with this statement, the writers are giving too much credit to her abusers. It wasn’t the abuse—it was her survival instincts and cunning that got her through to the end. And her story closes in a way that proves it.

In the Game of Thrones finale, Sansa becomes Queen of the North. After Tyrion Lannister convinces representatives of the Seven Kingdoms that her brother Bran deserves to be king because he has the least ego, Sansa steps forward to demand that the North remain independent.

"I love you little brother, and I always will. And you'll be a good king. But tens of thousands of North men fell during the great war defending all of Westeros, And those who survived have seen too much and fought too hard ever," she says. "The North will remain an independent kingdom as it was for thousands of years."


As the episode closes, we see Sansa getting her rightful crown, a dark metal woven piece, back in the North.

With her declaration, Sansa shows that she cares about the people she rules—that she will stand up for them and be a benevolent, wise ruler. If it was up to me, she'd rule all of Westeros—she's proven she doesn't have an ego and that she has the strength and strategy to rule the whole damn thing—but the North will do ... for now.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Kate Storey
Kate Storey is a Writer-at-Large for Esquire covering culture, politics, and style. She spent two years as Hearst Digital Media's News Director, managing an international shared news desk. Her book, White House By the Sea, about the Kennedys in Hyannis Port, is out summer 2023.
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