Artwork by Anja Dalisa ©
|Title||Princess of Winterfell|
House Baelish of Harrenhal (as Alayne)
|Born||In 286 AC, at Winterfell|
A Game of Thrones | A Clash of Kings|
A Storm of Swords | A Feast for Crows
|Played by||Sophie Turner|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 2|
Sansa Stark is the elder daughter of Catelyn and Eddard Stark. She has three brothers (Robb, Bran and Rickon) and a younger sister, Arya. Once betrothed to the Crown Prince Joffrey Baratheon, she is currently hiding at the Eyrie under the alias Alayne Stone.
Character and Appearance
Sansa was raised a lady, and possesses the traditional feminine graces of her milieu, with a keen interest in music, poetry, singing, dancing, embroidery, and other traditional feminine activities. She is very fond of songs and stories, particularly those depicting handsome princes, honorable knights, chivalry, and love. She is fond of lemoncakes. Her relationship with her sister Arya is often strained, and the two are opposites in most respects. She was briefly accompanied by a direwolf pup named Lady.
Sansa is traditionally beautiful, taking after her mother's family (the Tullys) with her high cheekbones, vivid blue eyes and thick auburn hair. She is eleven years old at the start of the series. As she has grown up, her figure has been described as tall, graceful and womanly.
A Game of Thrones
With her father's appointment to become the Hand of the King, Sansa is delighted at the prospect of life at court in King's Landing and thrilled at her betrothal to the handsome Prince Joffrey. On their journey to the capital, Joffrey courts Sansa at his mother's insistence. The two are walking together when they come upon her sister Arya playing at swords with the boy Mycah. Joffrey draws his sword and threatens Mycah, but Arya fights with him, her direwolf Nymeria disarming and superficially wounding him. Later recounting the tale to King Robert, 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 doesn't remember. Cersei Lannister uses the opportunity to insist that the direwolf that attacked her son be killed. Arya, having anticipated this, had driven Nymeria away; as a result, to assuage the Queen, Sansa's direwolf Lady is killed instead.
In King's Landing, Sansa feuds with her sister, placing the majority of the blame on Arya for her direwolf's death. She remains infatuated with Joffrey, largely overlooking his violent mood swings, and develops a close relationship with Queen Cersei as well. Attending the Tourney celebrating her father's appointment as Hand, she finds many of her notions of knightly valor and chivalry reinforced, seeing the events as worthy of one of her savored stories.
After her father discovers the truth of Joffrey's parentage and tells his daughters that he is returning them to Winterfell, 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 Lord Eddard's arrest, Sansa is forced to admit her father's treason and pleads for his mercy. Joffrey, now King after Robert's death, promises to be merciful, but on the steps of Baelor's sept orders Eddard's execution as Sansa helplessly looks on.
Even after Eddard's beheading, Cersei declares that Joffrey should still be married to Sansa upon her flowering. Sansa, now horrified at the prospect and only wanting to return home, nevertheless has no choice but to remain in the capital and denounce her father and brother as traitors.
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. Joffrey frequently orders her to be beaten by his Kingsguard as punishment for actions taken by her brother Robb in his rebellion. On one occasion he orders her to be stripped naked at court, and on another he shows her her father's head, which has been placed on a spike on the Red Keep. This prompts her to consider an attempt to kill him, but the action is prevented by Sandor Clegane, who sees her intention and subtly stops her.
At a tourney celebrating Joffrey's name day, a knight by the name of Ser Dontos Hollard disgraces himself by showing up too drunk to compete. Joffrey decides that he should be killed, but Sansa successfully pleads with the king to spare his life, instead merely stripping him of his knighthood and making him a court fool.
Tyrion Lannister treats her with surprising kindness, and his arrival in the city and assumption of the position of acting Hand of the King sees an end to the more overt abuses directed at Sansa. Sansa also develops a unique relationship with Sandor, who despite his brusque words and hideous demeanor treats her gently and refuses to beat her at Joffrey's command. He privately mocks her for her naive nature but also displays sympathy for her predicament. Sandor saves her life during the Riot of King's Landing.
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 nevertheless agrees to Dontos's promise, who in turn counsels patience and perseverence. 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.
During the Battle of the Blackwater Sansa takes refuge with many of the other ladies of the court in the Great Sept of Baelor, where she remains strong and attempts to calm many of the other frightened women, despite the bitter and cynical words of Cersei, who spends her time there drinking heavily. After the battle Sandor Clegane, who had been broken during the fighting, drunkenly offers to take Sansa with him as he flees the city. She refuses, and he makes her sing for him at knifepoint.
After the Lannister victory, it is announced that Sansa's betrothal to Joffrey is at an end, for the Crown's alliance with House Tyrell includes a marraige pact between Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. Joffrey assures her that he will still get to have her sexually, as a king can take whomever he wants to bed. Sansa remains in King's Landing, still a hostage to the Lannisters, even as Dontos assures her that the plan to get her home is still in place.
A Storm of Swords
Sansa is asked to sup with Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna Redwyne, and there, with some coaxing and the arrangement of a distraction to prevent any spies from hearing, Sansa confesses to them that Joffrey 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 Tyrells approach Sansa with the possibility of being freed from King's Landing and 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 becomes friends with Margaery for a time.
She shares with Dontos the Tyrell plot, and Dontos advises her 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 supposed plans, disregards his warnings. However, he tells his employer Petyr Baelish of the plot, who in turn informs the Lannisters. Not wishing to lose their hostage, 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 to him despite her disgust with his physical appearance. Tyrion does not require that she consummate the marraige, for which Sansa is grateful, particularly after learning of her brother and mother's death in the Red Wedding.
Dontos insists that Sansa wear a specific hairnet to the wedding between Joffrey and Margaery, which she does. When Joffrey chokes and dies at his own wedding feast, Sansa flees and meets with Dontos, who escorts her to a boat that takes her to a ship, where Petyr Baelish greets her. Baelish explains to Sansa that Joffrey's death was due to a poison that had been smuggled into the feast in the disguise of one of the amythests on her hairnet, and shares with Sansa some of the details of the plot between himself and Oleanna Redwyne 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.
Taking Sansa with him to his meager personal holdings in the Vale, Baelish dyes Sansa's hair black and coaches her on a story to pass her off as his bastard daughter Alayne Stone, so as to avoid detection, for Sansa was wanted in connection with Joffrey's death. On the Fingers, Sansa's aunt Lysa Arryn meets with them and weds Petyr. After the wedding, the three travel to her seat at the Eyrie. There Sansa, increasingly resembling a grown woman, finds herself prey to the sexual advances of Lysa's bard Marillion, whom she denies, as well as Lord Baelish himself, who in a quiet moment kisses her. Lysa witnesses the act, and in a fit of jealous rage attempts to kill Sansa by shoving her out the Moon Door. Littlefinger arrives in time to intervene, and shoves Lysa out the Moon Door to her death, framing Marillion for the murder and involving Sansa in the cover-up.
A Feast for Crows
After Lysa's death Sansa becomes the de facto mistress of the Eyrie, comforting her sickly young cousin Lord Robert while being tutored by Lord Baelish in some of the finer points of courtly intrigue. When Lyn Corbray draws his sword during a parlay between Petyr and the Lords Declarant, and Baelish leverages the breach of etiquette to demand a trial period of regency over the little Lord Robert, Sansa correctly surmises that Corbray is under Baelish's employ, which Baelish confirms. Petyr reveals his plans to Sansa for eventual marriage to the Arryn heir after Robert, Harrold Hardyng, and an eventual plan to reveal her true identity and to reclaim Winterfell in her name.
References and Notes
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Stark. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Stark. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.