Artwork © Isabel Westling
House Lannister (through marriage)
House Arryn (as Alayne Stone)
House Baelish (as Alayne Stone)
|Born||In 286 AC, at Winterfell|
A Game of Thrones (POV)|
A Clash of Kings (POV)
A Storm of Swords (POV)
A Feast for Crows (POV)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
The Winds of Winter (POV)
|Played by||Sophie Turner|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6 | Season 7|
Sansa Stark is a member of House Stark and is the elder daughter of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. She has three brothers: Robb, Bran and Rickon; a younger sister: Arya; and a half-brother: Jon Snow. Sansa Stark is one of the major POV characters in the books. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, she is played by Sophie Turner.
Appearance and Character
Sansa is traditionally beautiful, taking after her mother's family (House Tully) with her high cheekbones, vivid blue eyes, and thick auburn hair. She is eleven years old at the start of A Song of Ice and Fire. As she has grown up, her figure has been described as tall, graceful, and womanly. Sansa is described as soft-spoken and sweet-smelling.
Raised as a lady, Sansa possesses the traditional feminine graces of her milieu, with a keen interest in music, poetry, singing, dancing, embroidery, and other traditional feminine activities. Like many girls her age, Sansa is enthralled by songs and stories of romance and adventure, particularly those depicting handsome princes, honorable knights, chivalry, and love. She keeps faith with both the old gods and the Seven.
Sansa's relationship with her sister Arya is often strained, and the two are opposites in most respects. Her dearest friend is Jeyne Poole, the daughter of Vayon Poole, the steward of Winterfell. Sansa is fond of lemon cakes, with Gage making the treats whenever possible.
Sansa was born at Winterfell, with Maester Luwin aiding Catelyn Stark during the delivery. In her eleven years, she has been tutored by Septa Mordane in the traditional womanly activities. Luwin has also educated the Stark children.
Jon Snow, having covered himself with flour to appear as a ghost, once tried to scare his younger siblings in the crypt of Winterfell. While Sansa and Bran were frightened, Arya instead punched their half-brother.
Sansa became infatuated with Ser Waymar Royce when the young man stopped at Winterfell on his way to Castle Black. Theon Greyjoy, the ward of Lord Eddard Stark, has pondered wedding Sansa and being accepted by Eddard as a son.
A Game of Thrones
Sansa names her direwolf pup Lady. With her father Eddard Stark's appointment as Hand of the King, Sansa is delighted at the prospect of life at court in King's Landing and is thrilled by her betrothal to the handsome Prince Joffrey Baratheon.
On their journey to the capital, Sansa is frightened when she meets Ser Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice, at the crossroads inn. Joffrey courts Sansa at the insistence of his mother, Queen Cersei Lannister. The two are walking together near the ruby ford when they come upon her sister, Arya, playing at swords with the boy Mycah. Joffrey draws his sword, Lion's Tooth, and threatens Mycah, but Arya fights with him; her direwolf Nymeria disarms and superficially wounds him.
Later recounting the tale to Joffrey's father, King Robert I Baratheon, at Darry, Arya tells the truth while Joffrey lies, saying that Mycah, Arya, and Nymeria attacked him without provocation. Sansa, not wishing to betray her future husband, lies and refuses to verify either story, pleading that she does not remember. Cersei uses the opportunity to insist that the direwolf that attacked her son be killed. Arya, having anticipated this, had driven Nymeria away. To assuage the queen, Sansa's direwolf Lady is killed by Eddard instead.
Sansa feuds with Arya in King's Landing, placing the majority of the blame on her sister for Lady's death. Sansa remains infatuated with Joffrey, largely overlooking his violent mood swings, and she develops a close relationship with Queen Cersei as well. Attending the Hand's tourney celebrating her father's appointment, Sansa finds many of her notions of knightly valor and chivalry reinforced, seeing the events as worthy of one of her favored stories. To warn Sansa about dangers she faces, Sandor Clegane tells the girl how his brother, Ser Gregor Clegane, burned his face. She also develops a crush on Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers; when he gives her a red rose, she is certain she is living in a romantic song.
After Eddard discovers the truth of Joffrey's parentage and tells his daughters that he is returning them to Winterfell on the Wind Witch, Sansa, in an act of defiance, runs to the queen and tells her of her father's plans, pleading that she might be allowed to stay and marry Joffrey. Her doing so unwittingly aids Cersei's plot against her father. After Eddard's arrest, Sansa is detained in Maegor's Holdfast, and her friend Jeyne Poole is taken away by Lord Petyr Baelish. Sansa is forced to call her father a traitor. She pleads in front of the king and his retainers for mercy. Joffrey, now king after Robert's death, promises to be merciful, but on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor he orders Ilyn to execute Eddard as Sansa helplessly looks on.
Even after Eddard's beheading, Cersei declares that Joffrey should still be married to Sansa upon her flowering. Sansa, horrified at the prospect and only wanting to return home, has no choice but to remain in King's Landing during the deteriorating situation, as a hostage, and denounce her father and brother as traitors. Joffrey shows Sansa her father's head, which has been placed on a spike in the Red Keep. Sansa briefly considers pushing the prince to his death, even if it means she will die as well, but Sandor subtly stops her.
A Clash of Kings
Now effectively a hostage in the Red Keep, Sansa armors herself in her lady's courtesies as she dutifully goes through the motions of denouncing her family as traitors and pleading to them for peace. King Joffrey I Baratheon frequently orders her to be beaten by his Kingsguard as punishment for actions taken by her rebellious brother Robb. At the tourney on King Joffrey's name day, Sansa realizes she has lost her romantic notions about knightly and courtly love. Ser Dontos Hollard disgraces himself by showing up too drunk to compete. Joffrey decides he should be killed, causing a horrified Sansa to make up a convincing lie which Sandor Clegane backs up. Sansa pleads successfully with the king to spare Dontos, and a placated Joffrey instead strips him of his knighthood and makes him a court fool, as Sansa suggested.
When Tyrion Lannister arrives in King's Landing and assumes the position of acting Hand of the King, he sees an end to the more overt abuses directed at Sansa, including stopping Ser Meryn Trant from stripping the girl naked and beating her. Sansa develops a unique relationship with Sandor, who despite his brusque words and hideous demeanor treats her gently, protects her, and refuses to beat her at Joffrey's command. He privately mocks her for her naive nature but also displays sympathy for her predicament.
One night Sansa finds a note in her room, directing her to come to the godswood if she wants to go home. It is from Dontos, who promises that a plan is in place to free her from the Lannisters and bring her to Winterfell. Wary of a trap, she agrees to Dontos's promise, who in turn counsels patience and perseverance. Feigning a newfound piety to the old gods, Sansa makes frequent trips to the godswood to meet with Dontos, at first seeing him as a gallant rescuer who seeks redemption for the shame he brought upon himself, though she eventually comes to doubt his competence. They refer to each other as Florian and Jonquil.
During the riot of King's Landing after the departure of Princess Myrcella Baratheon to Dorne, Ser Mandon Moore abandons Sansa to protect Joffrey and the girl is separated from the royal party. Sandor rescues the wounded Sansa from the mob and returns her to the Red Keep.
As Stannis Baratheon's army approaches the city, Sansa experiences her first flowering, making her officially a woman. During the Battle of the Blackwater Sansa takes refuge with many of the other ladies of the court in the sept of the Red Keep and the Queen's Ballroom. She remains strong and attempts to calm many of the other frightened women, despite the bitter and cynical words of a drunk Cersei, who spends her time sniping at Sansa and the other attendant ladies before storming out.
When Sansa returns to her chambers, she finds Sandor hidden in her room, broken from the threat of wildfire. He drunkenly offers to take Sansa with him as he flees the city. She refuses, and he makes her sing for him at knifepoint. After he leaves, Sansa puts on Sandor's bloody cloak, then keeps it in a chest with her summer dresses. Later on, Sansa remembers something more happening, she believes Sandor kissed her that night. Dontos later informs Sansa that Stannis was defeated by the arrival of Lord Tywin Lannister and House Tyrell.
After the Lannister victory, it is announced that Sansa's betrothal to Joffrey is at an end, for the Crown's alliance with the Tyrells includes a marriage pact between Joffrey and Lord Mace Tyrell's daughter, Margaery Tyrell. Joffrey assures Sansa he will still get to have her sexually, stating as a king he can take whomever he wants to bed. Sansa remains in King's Landing, still a hostage to the Lannisters; Dontos assures her the plan to get her home is still in place after the wedding, giving her a hairnet adorned with dark purple amethysts.
A Storm of Swords
Since Bran and Rickon Stark are believed to have been murdered by Theon Greyjoy, Lady Catelyn Stark releases Ser Jaime Lannister from captivity at Riverrun, in return for his promise to return with her daughters, Sansa and Arya Stark.
Sansa remembers the night Sandor left, and she wishes he was still there. Sansa is asked to sup with Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna Redwyne. Ser Loras Tyrell takes her breath away with his beauty and compliments, but he does not appear to remember her or the rose from the Hand's tourney. When Olenna tries to find out more about Joffery, Sansa confesses that the king is a monster and begs Margaery not to marry him. Margaery insists that she will be safe with her brother Loras's addition to the Kingsguard, and brushes off the concerns. The Tyrell women raise the possibility of Sansa being taken to Highgarden to be married to the Tyrell heir, Willas, who is crippled, but kind, intelligent, and capable. Sansa readily agrees, anxious to be free of the Lannisters, and she becomes friends with Margaery for a time.
Sansa shares with Ser Dontos Hollard the Tyrell plot, but the fool advises against it, fearfully noting that the Tyrells are not as gentle as they seem. Sansa, frustrated with the apparent lack of progress in Dontos's own plans, disregards his warnings. However, he informs his employer, Lord Petyr Baelish, of the plot, who in turn informs the Lannisters.
Not wishing to lose their hostage, Lord Tywin Lannister acts quickly to marry Sansa to Tyrion Lannister against the wishes of both parties. Sansa, now thirteen, does her best to hide her feelings toward her disfigured dwarf husband, remaining courteous despite her disgust with his appearance and her deep unhappiness with the marriage. Tyrion does not require that she consummate the marriage, for which Sansa is grateful, particularly after learning of the deaths of her mother, Catelyn, and brother, King Robb, at the Red Wedding. Sansa's maids include Brella and Shae, the latter of whom is Tyrion's secret lover.
Sansa wears the hairnet she had received from Dontos to the wedding between Joffrey and Margaery. When Joffrey chokes and dies at the wedding feast, Sansa flees and meets with Dontos. He escorts her to a boat that takes her to a ship in Blackwater Bay, where she is greeted by Lord Baelish, known as Littlefinger. He explains that Joffrey's death was due to a poison that had been smuggled into the feast, disguised as the amethysts on her hairnet, and shares with Sansa some of the details of the plot between himself and Lady Olenna to kill Joffrey. Littlefinger also has Dontos killed and dumped overboard, explaining that while he had played his part well, a drunk such as Dontos could never be entrusted to keep such sensitive information secret for long.
Tyrion is arrested for Joffrey's death and put on trial. With Sansa having disappeared, it is widely believed that she conspired with her husband. One rumor states she vanished in a puff of brimstone after helping Tyrion murder the king, with a ghostly direwolf with bloody jaws then haunting the Red Keep, while another rumor claims that Sansa killed Joffrey with magic, changed into a wolf with the wings of a bat, and flew from the the castle. Queen Cersei places Sansa's maids in a tower cell, and Loras thinks that Sansa attempted to poison his sister Margaery as well as Joffrey. Jaime Lannister tasks Brienne of Tarth with finding Sansa and bringing her to safety.
The Merling King takes Sansa to Petyr's tower at the Fingers in the Vale. Petyr coaches her on a story to pass her off as his bastard daughter, Alayne Stone, to avoid detection. Sansa's aunt, Lady Lysa Arryn, meets with them and weds Petyr at the tower. Upon returning to her bed for the night, Sansa is accosted by Lysa's singer, Marillion, who tries to rape her. Sansa is saved by the intervention of Ser Lothor Brune, Littlefinger's personal guard. After briefly thinking that it is Sandor and not Lothor who rescued her, Sansa dreams of Sandor in her marriage bed, as well as the deaths of Joffrey and Robb. In the morning, Lysa reveals she knows Sansa is her niece. Lysa agrees to assist in the deception, providing the girl with hair dye to color her most obvious Tully feature, her auburn hair. Lysa also proposes to wed Sansa to her sickly son, Lord Robert Arryn. Sansa is appalled by this, but keeps her true feelings to herself.
Later in the Eyrie, Sansa finds herself having to comfort young Robert, who is no longer able to share his mother's bed, since Petyr is in it. Robert frequently crawls into her bed and she is disgusted by his shaking sickness, which often leads him to wet her bed. Increasingly resembling a grown woman, she denies the sexual advances of Marillion. Sansa is homesick in the Eyrie, and when snow falls in the courtyard where the godswood would not grow, she makes an elaborate snow fort, which eventually takes the shape of Winterfell. She is surprised when Lord Baelish helps her and kisses her, which is witnessed by Lysa. Before Sansa has time to digest what happened, Robert comes out and destroys the castle which upsets her even more. She rips his doll and he goes into a shaking spell.
A jealous Lysa accuses Sansa of trying to seduce her new husband, and she threatens to shove the girl through the Moon Door. Littlefinger arrives in time to intervene, however. After Lysa drunkenly confesses to having poisoned her first husband, Lord Jon Arryn, on Petyr's orders, Littlefinger shoves Lysa out of the Moon Door to her death, framing Marillion for the murder.
A Feast for Crows
Brienne of Tarth searches the crownlands and the riverlands for Sansa, whom she claims is her sister. Along the road to Duskendale, Brienne meets Ser Shadrich of the Shady Glen, a hedge knight seeking the girl for a gold bounty. Ser Arys Oakheart regrets having followed King Joffrey I Baratheon's commands to beat Sansa.
Sansa, still in the guise of "Alayne Stone", becomes the de facto Lady of the Eyrie, comforting her sickly young cousin, Lord Robert Arryn, while being tutored by Petyr Baelish, Lord Protector of the Vale, in some of the finer points of courtly intrigue. She tells Lord Nestor Royce that Marillion killed Lysa Arryn, not Littlefinger, and she deduces that Petyr grants the Gates of the Moon to Nestor to gain his political support. Lysa's jewels and wardrobe of silks, satins, velvets, and furs are given by Petyr to Alayne, although most of the clothing is too large for her.
When Ser Lyn Corbray draws his sword during a parlay at the Eyrie between Petyr and the Lords Declarant, Littlefinger leverages the breach of etiquette to demand a trial period of regency over the little Lord Robert, whom Alayne calls Sweetrobin. She correctly surmises that Lyn is under Petyr's employ, which Littlefinger confirms.
The Arryn court departs the Eyrie for the Gates of the Moon because of the onset of winter. Preparing for departure, Alayne lets Sweetrobin kiss her, but when his lips touch hers, she remembers Sandor kissing her. Alayne befriends Lord Nestor's daughter, Myranda Royce, and helps Robert during the journey down the Giant's Lance. Alayne tells Myranda that she is fourteen, a year older than Sansa actually is at the time. Once at the Gates of the Moon, Alayne is introduced to three hedge knights, among which is Ser Shadrich. Petyr later reveals his plan to Alayne for the eventual marriage of Sansa to the heir of the Vale of Arryn, Ser Harrold Hardyng, and to reveal her true identity to the Lords of the Vale and to reclaim Winterfell in her name.
A Dance with Dragons
The Winds of Winter
|| Warning |
This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.
Finding a means of meeting her betrothed, Alayne suggests that a personal guard be formed to protect Lord Robert Arryn, named the Brotherhood of Winged Knights, whose initial members would be selected in a tourney. She meets the newly-knighted Harrold Hardyng when he comes to the Gates of the Moon to compete for a position in the brotherhood. When he first meets Alayne he treats her with contempt for her bastard status. Sansa remembers that Joffrey Baratheon was attractive as well, but cruel, while the ugly Tyrion Lannister was kinder. She attempts to beguile Harrold during a feast held that evening at the behest of Lord Petyr Baelish.
Quotes by Sansa
There are no heroes ... In life, the monsters win.—Sansa's thoughts after the execution of Eddard Stark
Once, she had loved Prince Joffrey with all her heart, and admired and trusted his mother, the queen. They had repaid that love and trust with her father's head. Sansa would never make that mistake again.—Sansa's thoughts
I wish the Hound were here. The night of the battle, Sandor Clegane had come to her chambers to take her from the city, but Sansa had refused. Sometimes she lay awake at night, wondering if she'd been wise. She had his stained white cloak hidden in a cedar chest beneath her summer silks. She could not say why she'd kept it. The Hound had turned craven, she heard it said; at the height of the battle, he got so drunk the Imp had to take his men. But Sansa understood. She knew the secret of his burned face. It was only the fire he feared. That night, the wildfire had set the river itself ablaze, and filled the very air with green flame. Even in the castle, Sansa had been afraid. Outside... she could scarcely imagine it.—Sansa's thoughts
—Tyrion Lannister and Sansa
My skin has gone from porcelain, to ivory, to steel.—Sansa's thoughts
The memory of her own wedding night with Tyrion was much with her. In the dark, I am the Knight of Flowers, he had said. I could be good to you. But that was only another Lannister lie. A dog can smell a lie, you know, the Hound had told her once. She could almost hear the rough rasp of his voice. Look around you, and take a good whiff. They're all liars here, and every one better than you. She wondered what had become of Sandor Clegane.—Sansa's thoughts
No one will ever marry me for love. But lying came easy to her now.—Sansa's thoughts
Petyr: Trust no one, I once told Eddard Stark, but he would not listen. You are Alayne, and you must be Alayne all the time. Even here. In your heart. Can you do that? Can you be my daughter in your heart?
Sansa: I ... I am Alayne, Father. Who else would I be?
Petyr: With my wits and Cat's beauty, the world will be yours, sweetling.—Petyr Baelish and Sansa
A falcon soared above the frozen waterfall, blue wings spread wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.—Sansa's thoughts
As the boy's lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.—Sansa's thoughts
Quotes about Sansa
She blushed prettily. She did everything prettily, Arya thought with dull resentment.—Arya Stark's thoughts
—Sandor Clegane to Sansa
Life is not a song, sweetling. Someday you may learn that, to your sorrow.
Sansa was a lady at three, always so courteous and eager to please. She loved nothing so well as tales of knightly valor. Men would say she had my look, but she will grow into a woman far more beautiful than I ever was, you can see that. I often sent away her maid so I could brush her hair myself. She had auburn hair, lighter than mine, and so thick and soft... the red in it would catch the light of the torches and shine like copper.
And she sang for me. You didn’t know that, did you? Your sister sang me a sweet little song.
She is just as comely as the Tyrell girl. Her hair was a rich autumn auburn, her eyes a deep Tully blue. Grief had given her a haunted, vulnerable look; if anything, it had only made her more beautiful. He wanted to reach her, to break through the armor of her courtesy.—Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
Sandor: The little bird flew away, did she? Well, bloody good for her. She shit on the Imp's head and flew off.
Polliver: They'll find her. If it takes half the gold in Casterly Rock.
Tickler: A pretty girl, I hear. Honey sweet.
Sandor: And courteous. A proper little lady. Not like her bloody sister.
Shadrich: A little lost sister, is it? With blue eyes and auburn hair? You are not the only hunter in the woods. I seek for Sansa Stark as well.
Brienne: Who is this Sansa Stark, and why do you seek her?
Shadrich: For love, why else?
Shadrich: Aye, love of gold.
I ought to have shown her to the black cells as the daughter of a traitor, but instead I made her part of mine own household. She shared my hearth and hall, played with my own children. I fed her, dressed her, tried to make her a little less ignorant about the world, and how did she repay me for my kindness? She helped murder my son. When we find the Imp, we will find the Lady Sansa too. She is not dead ... but before I am done with her, I promise you, she will be singing to the Stranger, begging for his kiss.
When Robert dies, Harry the Heir becomes Lord Harrold, Defender of the Vale and Lord of the Eyrie. Jon Arryn's bannermen will never love me, nor our silly, shaking Robert, but they will love their Young Falcon ... and when they come together for his wedding, and you come out with your long auburn hair, clad in a maiden's cloak of white and grey with a direwolf emblazoned on the back ... why, every knight in the Vale will pledge his sword to win you back your birthright. So those are your gifts from me, my sweet Sansa ... Harry, the Eyrie, and Winterfell. That's worth another kiss now, don't you think?
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 54, Daenerys VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- See the Sansa Stark calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7, Arya I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
- The Winds of Winter, Alayne I
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 16, Sansa II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- The Winds of Winter, Theon I
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Sansa Stark.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 6, Arya I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50, Arya IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 12, Reek I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 44, Sansa III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 51, Sansa IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 18, Sansa II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 60, Sansa VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 74, Arya XIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 10, Sansa I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 42, Brienne VIII.
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