Why Sansa Stark Should Win the Game of Thrones

Now that we’re heading into the final season and plot lines are finally starting to wrap up, few characters are left to actually win the Game of Thrones. Fan favorites include, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister, and Arya Stark. However, in regards to character development, proof of just leading, and sensibility, these characters pale in comparison to Sansa Stark. These are the reasons why she deserves to rule Westeros. 

 

Her Character Development 

Though Sansa began the series as an annoying and spoiled young girl, she has now overcome so much trauma that she has become a completely different character. She first was held captive by the Lannisters starting in season one, where she faced constant mistreatment by Cersei and Joffrey and was shamed into marrying Tyrion, a man about 20 years older than her. She was threatened, manipulated, and surrounded by enemies, all of which she learned from. She was then coerced by Petyr Baelish into staying at the Vale, where she was threatened by Lysa Arryn, harassed by her young son, and romantically taken advantage of by Littlefinger. She was then coerced into marrying Ramsay Bolton, the most villainous and evil character on the show, who she was mentally and sexually abused by. 

This abuse lasted around 40 episodes. 

Through her time with the Lannisters, Sansa learned the basics of politics and the difference between ruling the right way and ruling the wrong way. She learned the importance of ruling for the people. In her experiences with Littlefinger, Sansa learned to trust herself and her family above all. And in conquering the abuse at the hands of Ramsay, she gained her strength and power. 

 

Why Jon and Daenerys Shouldn’t 

Though Jon and Daenerys have experience in ruling and leading, they both have significant faults they have carried with them over the seasons. 

Daenerys believes she should rule because she is the one true heir, not because she believes she can bring peace and security to Westeros. Her strategy and decisions are grounded in her emotions and past. Her motivation is clouded by revenge for her father’s death and her exile. We see this method of ruling finally face consequences in the first episode of season eight, when Daenerys tells Samwell Tarley about how she mercilessly killed his brother and father. 

Jon Snow’s decisions are also incredibly based on his emotions, not in sensibility and logic. The largest and most recent example of this is at the end of season seven, when Jon decides to bend the knee to Daenerys, giving over Winterfell in exchange for reinforcements in fighting the Night King. He decides to bend the knee in a very intimate scene, that’s conveniently in the episode before they have sex. In this most recent episode, as Jon and Sansa meet in private to discuss Daenerys’s queenship, Jon states, “I never wanted a crown. All I wanted was to protect the North.” This seems to align with Jon’s straight-edge morality, but Sansa sees right through it, questioning, “Did you bend the knee to save the North, or because you love her?” This further brings into question Jon’s ability to lead, if he even wants to that is. It doesn’t help that Jon’s bending of the knee has turned the North against both him and Daenerys. Now, the people’s trust solely lies in Sansa, the Lady of Winterfell. 

 

The Lady of Winterfell 

We first see Sansa’s true introduction to politics as the Starks gear up for the Battle of the Bastards. She tries her best to help Jon strategize for the battle, is convinced they do not have enough men and support, and goes out on her own to find allies. Once the battle begins and Jon begins to lose men drastically, along with quickly losing the battle, Sansa saves Jon and thousands of men. She calls on the Knights of the Vale though her relationship with Littlefinger to join the battle and overpower Ramsay’s men. Without her, Jon would not have won the Battle of the Bastards. 

In season seven, as Jon left for Dragonstone to convince Daenerys to help him fight the Army of the Dead, he puts Sansa in charge as the Lady of Winterfell. It is here that we really see Sansa shine in a leadership role. She effectively manages the castle and the allies of the Starks. She continuously focuses on the needs and demands of the people, such as planning and providing enough food to last throughout the long winter. She also deals with Littlefinger’s scheming, effectively outsmarting him into going on trial. With the help of Arya and Bran, Sansa convicts Littlefinger of his various treacheries, such as starting the hatred between the Starks and Lannisters which resulted in the death of Ned Stark. Sansa then calls for Littlefinger’s death, and Arya kills him for his crimes. 

Sansa has earned the respect of the North. Through Daenerys, Jon has now lost the respect of the North. The North trusts Sansa, and the rest of Westeros will too.