The storylines that everybody remembers in Game of Thrones are the ones that involve the dragons and the white walkers (or the ones filled with copious amounts of nudity).
However, there is more to the story of Westeros than epic tales that wouldn’t look out of place in Lord of the Rings-– there are stories of humanity and the desires that shape our actions. That is Sansa Stark’s story and, besides all of the fighting action, it is one of the real reasons why we watch Game of Thrones.
Sansa Stark is one of the main POV characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. She travels to King’s Landing with dreams of knighthood and royalty. She soon discovers how hollow the promise of chivalry is and how the only thing that keeps a crown on a king’s head is his ruthlessness.
We are here today to look at the toughest and bravest character in all of Game of Thrones– from her accidental betrayal of her family to the Lannisters in the books to the upcoming wedding that may lead to Littlefinger’s plans coming crashing down around him.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Sansa Stark.
15. She Betrayed Her Family
When Ned Stark began to the uncover the truth behind Cersei and Jaime Lannister’s incestuous relationship, he realized that his family might be in danger. He prepared a secret escape from King’s Landing for his family and servants.
Ned had a ship ready to take them out of the city at a moment’s notice. When Sansa became aware of this plan, she told Cersei, as she wanted to remain in King’s Landing and marry Joffrey.
Sansa hoped that Cersei could mend whatever issues she was having with Ned and keep the engagement on. This tipped off Cersei that Ned was planning something, which caused her to accelerate her own plans. Sansa had inadvertently betrayed her own family, which led to the death of her father.
This story was removed in the show, due to the fact that all of the characters had their ages increased by a few years in the adaptation. An older Sansa wouldn’t have been gullible enough to betray her family in such a way, so the scene was left out.
14. She Is A Warg
Most of the residents of the Seven Kingdoms aren’t aware of the existence of Wargs. This is because very few of them are born below the Wall. Wargs are more common among the wildlings, though they are often outcast from society.
Mance Rayder saw the potential of the Warg’s ability to see through the eyes of animals, so he brought them into his army and used their powers during his battle against the Night’s Watch.
George R. R. Martin has confirmed that all of the Stark children are Wargs. They all have the ability to enter the minds of any animal, though most aren’t aware of their power. Robb died before he had a chance to learn of his Warg abilities. Bran is the only one trying to expand his powers, though both Arya and Jon have accidentally entered the minds of animals in the books.
13. The Tournament Spoiler
The A Song of Ice and Fire novels aren’t the only books written by George R. R. Martin that are set in Westeros. He is also writing a series of prequel novellas called the Tales of Dunk and Egg. These are much shorter and more light-hearted than the other books in the series.
In The Hedge Knight, a tournament is held, in which five lords are competing to be the Champion of Lady Ashford. Fans have noticed that four of these champions belong to the same houses of the suitors of Sansa Stark. There is Lyonel Baratheon, Tybolt Lannister, Leo Tyrel,l and Humphry Hardying. Sansa is promised to marry Joffrey Baratheon, Tyrion Lannister, Loras Tyrell (or Willas Tyrell in the books), and Harrold Hardying.
The fifth knight at the tournament was Valarr Targaryen. This has led some fans to speculate that Sansa will end up marrying a Targaryen. This leaves Jon Snow (if he becomes aware of his heritage), the Three-Eyed Raven, Aegon Targaryen (assuming he isn’t a fake), and Daenerys Targaryen, assuming gay marriage becomes legal in Westeros.
12. Sansa Stark Might Be Dead
The chapters in the A Song of Ice and Fire books are told from each character’s POV. This usually means that each chapter is named after said character, with a number after it (Arya I, Bran I, Arya II, Theon I, for example). There are some instances where this is different, though.
Some chapters in the series have more conventional titles, which are usually linked to the fact that a character is unsure of themselves. There are also instances of characters taking on false identities, which the chapter titles mention, like the Theon chapters changing to Reek chapters.
When Sansa leaves King’s Landing, she takes on the identity of Alayne Stone. This is because she is pretending to be Littlefinger’s bastard daughter. Sansa has started to refer to herself as Alayne in her own POV chapters.
George R. R. Martin has claimed that the Sansa Stark identity may be dead, leaving only Alayne Stone.
11. She Was Created To Be A Foil To Arya
Arya Stark is one of the most popular characters in the whole series. George R. R. Martin isn’t even allowed to kill her off, as his wife has threatened to divorce him if he did. Arya has the most powerful plot armor in the series, which means that she will likely survive until the end of A Dream of Spring, at which point all bets will be off.
The relationship between Sansa and Arya is a tense one in the books, to the point where Sansa and her friends outright bully Arya for her tomboy behavior. George R. R. Martin has confirmed that Sansa was originally created to be the foil to Arya.
He felt that the Stark family was too friendly and got along too well, which doesn’t often happen in real families. Arya was always going to be the one who defied the enforced gender roles of Westeros culture, while Sansa would embrace them. Arya was the one who would travel to foreign lands, while Sansa was to remain a prisoner of her lineage and had to survive in a den of lions.
10. She Took Over Jeyne Poole’s Storyline From The Books
The writers of Game of Thrones were given a difficult task when it came to adapting the books. This is because some of the characters have more story than others. They had to skip all the way to the fifth book when it came to adapting Theon’s storyline in season 3, as he disappeared from the story for years.
Sansa’s story was the most difficult to write for, as she has had almost no new material after the point when she fled from King’s Landing. As such, the creators were left with the dilemma of just ignoring her for years, or coming up with new storylines to help fill in the gap.
The decision was made to give Sansa the story of a character from the books called Jeyne Poole. Jeyne is a friend of Sansa’s who was captured by the Lannisters when they wiped out the Stark men in King’s Landing.
Jeyne is passed off as Arya Stark and married to Ramsay Bolton. The choice was made to give this story to Sansa, which led to some of the most controversial and widely criticized decisions in the show’s history.
9. UK Law Required One Of Her Scenes To Be Changed
Almost all of the characters had their ages increased in the transition from the books to the TV show. This had led to numerous different changes in the motives and ambitions of each of the characters.
One example of this can be seen with Joffrey. In the books, his violent outbursts are almost childlike, as if he were a young boy who was torturing animals for the fun of it. The show added a sexual element to Joffrey’s violent behavior, which makes sense, as he was now older.
In the books, Joffrey decides to punish Sansa for Robb Stark’s victories on the battlefield. He does this by having her stripped naked before the assembled court. The show had to change this scene to Sansa having part of her dress ripped.
Sophie Turner was still underage at this point, but they still couldn’t have filmed the scene with a body double, as her character was also underage. The scene was filmed in the UK, which meant that the law forbids the portrayal of a naked girl beneath the age of consent, even if a body double was used.
8. The Mystery Of The Unkiss
The chapters in the A Song of Ice and Fire series are told from a character’s POV. We see the world through their eyes, which means that we also share their skewed perspectives. The Cersei chapters in A Feast for Crows give us a taste of her intense paranoia, which makes her suspect everyone of trying to overthrow her.
Sansa Stark has had some unusual inconsistencies in her POV chapters, the most important of which involves her final meeting with the Hound. He comes to see her before he flees from King’s Landing and asks her to sing a song for him. When Sansa later recounts these events, she remembers the Hound kissing her, even though we know he didn’t.
George R. R. Martin has claimed that there is some relevance to this event, which had come to be known as the “UnKiss” by fans. Does this mean that Sansa Stark is pulling a Fight Club on us and hiding some dark truth about her character?
7. The Hairnet/Necklace Switch
The way in which the assassination of Joffrey Baratheon was filmed was meant to make the viewer think that Sansa poisoned the goblet. This is because Joffrey had just mocked the death of her brother with his jousting dwarves before his wine goblet is dropped beneath the table. Sansa passes the goblet to Tyrion, which would give her plenty of time to slip something inside it.
The poisoning was actually done by Olenna Tyrell, who teamed up with Littlefinger in order to pull it off. One of Littlefinger’s agents gave Sansa a piece of jewelry that contained a crystal made from a potent poison. Olenna took this crystal while talking to Sansa and slipped it into the goblet.
In the books, the poison was given to Sansa as part of a hairnet. This was changed into a necklace in the show, in order to make it easier for the audience to see that a gem was missing. It would have been trickier to spot a purple gem against Sansa’s red hair.
6. She Was Originally Going To Give Birth To Joffrey’s Child
The A Song of Ice and Fire novels are published by Harper Collins in the UK. The official Harper Collins Twitter account posted several images from George R. R. Martin’s original outline for the series. This letter has become known as the Ur-Text and it offers some intriguing glimpses into what could have happened in the series.
Sansa Stark was one of the characters mentioned in the Ur-Text. She was originally going to fall in love with Joffrey and willingly betray her family for him. Sansa would marry Joffrey and give birth to his son and heir. Sansa would later come to regret this decision, as the Lannisters would crush the Stark army in the field and destroy Winterfell.
Joffrey would later be murdered by Tyrion, which clears the way for Jaime Lannister to ascend to the Iron Throne. This involves Jaime killing all potential heirs, which includes Sansa’s child. We don’t know where the story was going to go from there, as these were just the events that were planned for the original first book of a trilogy.
5. She Was Never Engaged To Loras In The Books
Sansa Stark hasn’t had the best luck with suitors. She was originally betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, who was revealed to be a sadistic psychopath who got off on torturing people. Sansa was then married off to Tyrion, who had a large portion of his face torn off during the Battle of the Blackwater, before being accused of regicide. Littlefinger then arranged for Sansa to be married off to Ramsay Bolton, who might be the most awful human being in the Seven Kingdoms.
Sansa was briefly betrothed to Loras Tyrell in the show, which was part of the Tyrell’s plans to control the realm. Sansa was unaware of the fact that Loras was secretly gay, so she was ecstatic at the prospect of the marriage.
In the books, Loras becomes a Knight of the Kingsguard after the Battle of the Blackwater. This means that Sansa was betrothed to his brother, Willas Tyrell, instead. Willas is unable to walk, due to an injury he suffered while jousting Oberyn Martell. He would likely have been a good husband if the Lannisters hadn’t squashed the plans for their wedding beforehand.
4. She Helped Frame A Man For The Murder Of Her Aunt
In the first season of Game of Thrones, Joffrey has a bard brought before him in court. The bard had been singing satirical songs about the royal family, which Joffrey had played before the assembled lords and ladies. Joffrey then had the bard’s tongue cut out.
This bard is actually a named character in the books. He is called Marillion, which is not a reference to the band of the same name, as Martin had never heard of them before writing the books.
Marillion remains in the Eyrie after Tyrion departs, as Lysa Arryn had grown fond of him. Marillion later tries to force himself on Sansa (who is pretending to be Littlefinger’s bastard daughter at the time), before he is chased off by Lothor Brune.
Marillion is present when Littlefinger murders Lysa. Littlefinger then accuses Marillion of the murder, which Sansa corroborates in front of the lords of the Vale. Marillion then has his eyes and a few of his fingers removed as punishment and is confined to the Sky Cells, which is essentially a death sentence.
3. The Theta Theory
The eighth letter of the Greek alphabet is called a theta– θ. The theta symbol has appeared numerous times throughout Game of Thrones. The White Walkers leave bodies in a theta symbol at the start of the first season and the funeral pyre for Khal Drogo is made in a theta symbol in the final episode.
Jon Snow also sees a theta among the cave drawings that he shows to Daenerys beneath Dragonstone. Sansa also wears a black theta symbol on a necklace, during the period in the show where she pretends to be Littlefinger’s daughter.
The theta symbol actually appears in other books written by George R. R. Martin, which includes In The House of the Worm. Two different societies grew from civilizations that used silver and golden thetas as their symbol.
Was this a visual reference or is there some deeper meaning to the appearance of the thetas? The fans have created some pretty out there theories as to what this all means. Are the thetas somehow linked to the war between humans and the White Walkers? If so, what role will Sansa play in that conflict?
2. She Learns The Identity Of Jon Arryn’s Killer In The Books
The fact that we see the world through the eyes of characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire series means that the author has to make people admit and confess more information than they normally would in order to keep the audience clued in on what’s happening.
One of the biggest examples of this happens when Lysa Arryn is trying to push Sansa through the Moon Door. When Littlefinger arrives, she starts admitting to numerous capital crimes in front of both Sansa and Marillion, which includes the fact that she killed her husband Jon Arryn on Littlefinger’s orders. This reveals to the audience that Littlefinger is the secret architect of the War of the Five Kings.
Sansa is not aware of this information in the show because Lysa reveals it to the audience during a private discussion she has with Littlefinger. It is likely that Sansa might be holding on to this information during a significant scene that will be happening soon in the books…
1. She Is Still In The Vale
Sansa Stark’s storyline has been stationary since the death of Lysa Arryn. Her story has barely progressed throughout the past two books (in fact, she didn’t appear at all in A Dance With Dragons). Sansa has been learning of the politics of the Vale and is attempting to seduce the current heir of the region.
Robert Arryn (called Robin in the show) is the sickly lord of the Vale. His heir is a man named Harrold Hardyng, whose grandmother was an Arryn. Harrold is beloved by the other lords and is expected to become the ruler of the kingdom when Robert dies.
The sample chapters that have been released from The Winds of Winter involve Sansa seducing Harrold, which was prompted by Littlefinger. It is likely that Littlefinger wants to use Sansa to control Harrold, which will allow Litllefinger to progress with his plans for controlling the realm.
He wants Sansa to reveal her true identity during their wedding, in order to entice the lords of the Vale into retaking Winterfell for her.
Will Sansa go forward with Littlefinger’s plan, or will she use this opportunity to out his schemes and have him executed for the deaths of Jon and Lysa Arryn?
What do you think will happen? Can you think of any other interesting facts about Game of Thrones‘ Sansa Stark? Let us know in the comments!
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