Sansa Stark | Lady of Winterfell & Queen of the North

Above: Sansa Stark Lady of Winterfell & Queen of the North.

Sansa Stark is a fictional character created by American author George R. R. Martin. She is a prominent character in Martin’s award winning A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Introduced in 1996’s A Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter and second child of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn Stark. She subsequently appeared in the following three novels, A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), and A Feast for Crows (2005). While absent from the fifth novel A Dance with Dragons as the books are separated geographically, Sansa Stark was confirmed to return in the forthcoming next book in the series, The Winds of Winter.

In HBO’s adaptation of the series, Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark is played by actress Sophie Turner. The character has received critical acclaim, being praised as the 4th greatest character in the series by Rolling Stone. Sophie Turner and the rest of the cast were nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Above: Sansa Stark Lady of Winterfell & Queen of the North.

Sansa Stark is the second child and eldest daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark. Sansa Stark was born and raised in Winterfell, until leaving with her father and sister at the beginning of the Game of Thrones series. She has a younger sister Arya Stark, two younger brothers named Rickon Stark and Bran Stark, as well as an older brother named Robb Stark. Sansa Stark also has an older illegitimate half-brother named Jon Snow who later turned out to be her paternal cousin.

Raised as a lady, Sansa Stark is traditionally feminine. Sansa’s interests are music, poetry, and singing. She strives to become like the heroines of romantic tales by attempting to find a prince, knight, or gentleman to fall in love with. For a companion animal, she owned a direwolf named Lady. However, Lady was killed in place of Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, in the first installment.

Sansa Stark has been described as tall, slim, womanly, beautiful, and destined to be a lady or a queen. She has blue eyes and thick auburn hair that she inherited from her mother. Sansa Stark has her hair dyed dark brown later on while in the Vale, disguising as Alayne Stone – the bastard daughter of Petyr Baelish. Sansa Stark is 11 years old in A Game of Thrones and nearly 14 in A Feast for Crows. Arguably the most naive of the Stark children at the start of the series, Sansa Stark often finds herself used as a pawn in the machinations of the other characters. However, as the story progresses, she matures and becomes more of a player of the game rather than a pawn for other characters.

Above: Sansa Stark Lady of Winterfell & Queen of the North.

A Game of Thrones

Sansa Stark begins the novel by being engaged to be married to Crown Prince Joffrey Baratheon, believing Joffrey to be a brave, spirited, noble-minded, attentive to women, and exceptionally polite prince. While Joffrey and Sansa Stark are walking through the woods, Joffrey notices Arya Stark (Sansa’s sister) sparring with the butchers boy, Mycah. A fight breaks out and Joffrey is attacked by Nymeria (Arya’s Direwolf) after Joffrey threatens to hurt Arya. Sansa then lies to king Robert about the circumstances of the fight in order to protect both Joffrey and her sister Arya. Since Arya ran off with her wolf to save it, Sansa’s wolf is killed instead, estranging the Stark daughters.

During the Tourney of the Hand to honor her father Lord Eddard Stark, Sansa Stark is enchanted by the knights performing in the event. At the request of his mother, Queen Cersei Lannister, Joffrey spends a portion of the tourney with Sansa Stark, but near the end he commands his guard Sandor Clegane, better known as The Hound, to take her back to her quarters. The Hound tells Sansa the little known story of his burned face and why he dislikes knights, and in turn Sansa Stark comforts him.

After Eddard discovers the truth of Joffrey’s paternity, he tells his daughter Sansa Stark that they will be heading back to Winterfell. Sansa Stark is devastated and wishes to stay in King’s Landing, so she runs off to inform Queen Cersei of her father’s plans, unwittingly providing Queen Cersei with the information needed to arrest Sansa’s father. After king Robert dies, Sansa Stark begs Joffrey to show mercy on her father and he agrees to allow her father Ned Stark to live if Ned Stark will swear an oath of loyalty. After promising Sansa Stark that he will be merciful, Joffrey betrays his word and has Sansa’s father executed in front of her and in front of dozens of other people. Sansa Stark is now effectively a hostage in King’s Landing and finally sees Joffrey’s true nature after he forces her to look at the tarred head of her now deceased father.

Above: Sansa Stark Lady of Winterfell & Queen of the North.