Sansa Stark is Catelyn and Eddard's elder daughter, She possesses the traditional feminine graces of her milieu and is a strong believer in the world of chivalry portrayed in stories and songs. She is beautiful and excels at many female leisure activities, including singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, sewing, fashion, and social graces. She does not always have a good relationship with her sister Arya, whose interests are opposite in many respects and bewildering to Sansa. She was briefly accompanied by a direwolf pup named Lady.
Sansa is traditionally beautiful, with high cheekbones, vivid blue eyes, thick red hair and, as she grows up, a tall and graceful figure
When her father became the Hand of the King, eleven-year old Sansa was delighted at the prospect of life at court in King's Landing, and thrilled to be betrothed to the handsome Prince Joffrey. She adored Joffrey in spite of his violent mood swings, and gave false testimony defending him against Arya, which resulted in the death of her own direwolf, Lady. She was dismayed when her father announced plans to send her home and end the betrothal. Still trusting those at the royal court to be noble, she told Queen Cersei of her father's plans to send her away, unknowingly aiding the queen's plot against Eddard. It was only when her father was beheaded at Joffrey's command that Sansa saw Joffrey for what he really was.
She remained betrothed to Joffrey, suffering verbal and physical abuse at his hands and on his orders, until she was set aside in favor of Margaery Tyrell. No longer certain whom she could trust, she accepted the promise of the alcoholic knight Ser Dontos Hollard that he would see her sent safely home, seeing him as a gallant rescuer. Sansa remained courteous to everyone she met, including Joffrey's bodyguard Sandor Clegane, who was by turns brusque and gentle with her, and the Tyrells, who were planning to have her marry their heir Willas Tyrell.
After revealing the Tyrell plan to Ser Dontos (who told his master Petyr Baelish, who in turn told the Lannisters), Sansa was instead forced to marry the king's uncle, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister. Dismayed by her new husband's hideous appearance and horrified by the deaths of her siblings and parents, a now thirteen-year old Sansa nonetheless hid her feelings and tried to be the ideal wife she had been trained to be, though her disgust at the thought of sex with her husband was so great that he never forced her to consummate the marriage.
Sansa ultimately escaped King's Landing on the day of Joffrey's wedding during the chaos caused by Joffrey's poisoning and death. Believing Ser Dontos to be her savior, she was yet again disillusioned when she learned that he was working for payment, from Petyr Baelish. Baelish took her by ship to the Eyrie, which was ruled by Sansa's aunt, Lysa Arryn, whom Baelish then married. Sansa was instructed to pretend she was Baelish's bastard daughter, as the queen was searching for her. She again tried to fit in, playing with her young cousin Robert Arryn, but Baelish was attracted to Sansa and kissed her, not knowing that his wife was watching. He murdered his wife after she demonstrated her instability and threatened Sansa.
While at the Eyrie, Sansa pretended to be Baelish's bastard daughter, taking the name and persona of 'Alayne Stone' so thoroughly that she no longer thought of herself as Sansa. After Lysa's death Alayne became the mistress of the Eyrie, demonstrating again her aptness for household duties, and learned something of courtly intrigues from Baelish. He also planned for her marriage to Harrold Hardyng, the heir to House Arryn, and the eventual revelation of her true identity and the reclaiming of Winterfell in her name.