Dear Sansa Stark: I owe you an apology
After six seasons, simpering Sansa has become a strong, powerful woman - and that means it's time I said sorry, says Ellie Walker-Arnott
I owe you an apology.
I used to think you were simpering, silly and spoilt. But thanks to your resilience and determination, you've become the best character in Game of Thrones.
This week’s episode opened with you facing your former protector Petyr Baelish and rendering him speechless. He was sorry he married you off to Ramsay Bolton. He’d made a terrible mistake by underestimating a stranger, he lisped.
But you wouldn’t stand for his belated, insufficient apology (I hope you will accept mine). Season six Sansa is strong, eloquent and powerful.
“What do you think he did to me?" you spat at Littlefinger. "I can still feel it. I don’t mean in my tender heart it still pains me so, I can still feel what he did in my body standing here right now."
"You said you would protect me… You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family and you gave me to other monsters who murdered my family.”
You were unshakable. You stood up for yourself, for your family, for the North, for all of Westeros's wronged women – and I suddenly saw you in a different light.
You've always been a passive pawn in someone else’s game, but not anymore.
Forgive me, I'm going to be frank here, for the sake of making my point. Back in season one I hated you. You were annoying, whiney, petulant and busy batting your stupid eyelashes at awful Joffrey. I liked feisty Arya, handsome Robb and brave Jon, but, unlike your siblings, you weren't living up to your spunky Stark surname.
When Joffrey killed your father and left you stranded in King’s Landing, I still didn’t warm to you. You witnessed terrible things, had awful things inflicted on you, your family were murdered, you were forced into marriage – and still I didn’t really care. While beloved characters dropped like flies, you lived on and I was indifferent.
In the Game of Thrones you win or you die, and I never thought I’d see silly Sansa win.
But six seasons later, you've survived – by being adaptable, by watching and learning and listening, by quietly baring the tough hand George RR Martin dealt you.
So, sorry Sansa, that I couldn’t see how strong, how powerful, how vital you could be – you've become a fierce female character, and one I am desperately rooting for.
Game of Thrones continues on Monday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic