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What Will "The Winds of Winter" Bring For Sansa Stark?
Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead
The Winds of Winter is the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This article will take a look back at the previous five installments as well as make predictions on the next chapter in the series. The reader has been warned that spoilers lie ahead.
Sansa Stark: The Polarizing Red-Head of the Series
Few characters in George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, are as polarizing among book readers as Lord Eddard Stark's eldest daughter, Sansa. In a series where most characters are not ambiguously good or evil and most fall into the gray areas of morality, Sansa is not either loved or hated because of the actions she takes. More or less, it is her inaction that makes the reader take a side on her.
Sansa is the young daughter of Lord Eddard and Catelyn Stark, who take their residence in the northern castle of Winterfell. She has three brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon, as well as a younger sister, Arya, who she constantly bickers with. Arya is a tomboy to Sansa's picturesque dreaming girl's girl who believes in romance with knights and fairy tales, something she will find throughout the story is not how the world truly behaves. She also lives with Lord Eddard's bastard son, Jon Snow, though is not close with him as the others are.
While the other Stark children resemble their father, Sansa has the fiery red hair of the Tully side of her lineage and is tall and beautiful. She is introduced as the series opens in Winterfell with the King of the Seven Kingdoms, Robert, riding north to ask Eddard to be his Hand of the King after his previous has mysteriously died. As the King's retinue arrives, Eddard accepts and they form a marriage pact between Sansa and Robert's heir Joffrey to unite their houses.
Sansa is immediately enamored by her new fiancé and as they travel back to the capital with her father she falls deeper and deeper in with him. She even goes so far as to lie for him when her sister Arya accuses him of lying about how her wolf pet attacked him. Sansa takes Joffrey's side and in return her own wolf, Lady, must be put down to atone for the attack which hurts her very much.
They reach the capital and she overlooks Joffrey's violent mood swings, thinking it will all get better. She also develops a close relationship with his mother, the Queen Cersei, who attempts to school her on how to handle her son and be a loyal Queen. At the tournament for her father's appointment, she sees knights fighting for ladies and the grace and valor of the nobility which leads to her reinforcement of the stories from her fairy tales. She even develops a crush on the handsome Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell, who seems straight out of her books.
Lord Eddard, after investigating the previous Hand of the King's death, stumbles upon the truth that Robert and Cersei's children are truly Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister's, true bastard children. Eddard realizes how dangerous this information is and informs Sansa and Arya that he will be sending them to Winterfell which crushes all of her dreams. Sansa runs off to tell the Queen and in doing so accidentally sentences him as a traitor against the new King Joffrey after Robert unexpectedly dies. Sansa begs Joffrey not to kill her father which he agrees to but in the end has him beheaded in front of her. By this point, the fairy tale is over and Sansa pleads to be sent back to Winterfell, but this cannot happen says the Queen. She is effectively taken prisoner and will be made to marry Joffrey still so they have a claim on the North and a bargaining chip against her brother, Robb Stark, who has declared war on them.
Not being a warrior who can wear armor, Sansa shields herself with courtesies at court and by denouncing her family as traitors so as to avoid Joffrey's outbursts and violence towards her. His monstrosity is on full display as he has his guards strip and beat her in front of people regularly. Only Joffrey's bodyguard, Sandor Clegane, also known as The Hound, shows her any mercy. He tells he to be quiet and do as the king says so as to minimize his abuse. The Hound is deeply troubled himself and struggles with trying to help her and getting away from his gruff demeanor and annoyance at her naïve thoughts.
At a tournament where a drunken knight disgraces Joffrey, Sansa begs for his life to which Joffrey surpisingly accepts and from here the knight, Ser Dontos, promises her he will save and her and whisk her away like a knight in the stories. They stage secret meetings where he shows up drunk with no out for her but swears he is working on one. A riot in the city where Sansa is attacked and almost raped shows her how ugly the world can be until she is saved by The Hound, who begins to call her a "little bird".
The news of Joffrey not being the true heir has spread around the realm and the Lannisters are now facing open revolt on all fronts by multiple factions each claiming a right to the throne. Besides Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, Robert's brother, poses the biggest threat and as his ships are sailing for a naval assault on the city, Sansa experiences her flowering as a woman. She is terrified that Joffrey will now try to impregnate her and tries to hide her state. Cersei is made aware and Sansa is saved by the battle ensuing. She sees The Hound as the fight is raging and he drunkenly asks for a kiss and he will take her away from this place, she cannot get herself to do so and he criticizes her and storms out.
Stannis is defeated on the Blackwater because the Lannisters had formed an alliance with the Tyrell family, who inturn asked for Joffrey to be wed to their daughter Margaery to secure they're political standing. Sansa is joyous until Joffrey tells her that he will still be able to use her sexually. The Tyrell's arrive and they ask for Sansa to give them information on how Joffrey treats his women, they are an extremely ambitious family and seem to be only in the marriage for the power. They promise Sansa, if she helps to send her to their estate, Highgarden, and marry their son. Sansa hopes this is Loras, the Knight of Flowers, but it is his older brother (Loras prefers male attention).
Sansa informs Dontos of the new plan and he advises her not to go, the Tyrell's are just as power hungry and are only trying to secure their own claim to the North as she will be the eldest Stark if Robb is killed in battle. Dontos' drunken mouth gives the plan away to the Lannisters who make their own power move and declare Sansa to be wed to their dwarf son, Tyrion Lannister, who is much older. Tyrion is the only Lannister that had treated her with any kindness and respect but Sansa is not thrilled with the prospect.
The information that Robb and her mother Catelyn had been murdered reaches Sansa's ears as she is to marry Tyrion, devastating her completely to which Tyrion tells her on their wedding night that he will never make her consummate their marriage if she does not want to. On Joffrey and Margaerys' wedding day, Dontos insists Sansa wear jewels in her hair and eventually Joffrey dies at his own feast by poison which was inside the jewels and administered by the Tyrell's themselves. In the confusion of Joffrey's death, Dontos takes Sansa to Lord Petyr Baelish's ship to flee. Baelish seems to be the mastermind behind Joffrey's murder and had grown up with her mother as children. He offers to help and as she accepts voyage on the ship, Baelish kills Dontos so he cannot speak to anyone where they are going.
Lord Baelish, also known as Littlefinger, is to marry Sansa's aunt Lysa and disguises her as his own bastard daughter, Alayne Stone. Lysa and Littlefinger are wed and travel to her domain, the Vale, and arrive at the Eyrie, her mountaintop castle. Lysa is told that Sansa is her niece and she agrees to help conceal her and even marry her to her own son, Robert, who is sickly. Sansa isn't thrilled and begins missing her home in Winterfell and her family that are still living. One day while she is building snow castles that resemble her home, Littlefinger tells her how he loved her mother and how much she reminds him of her. A creepy kiss he forces on her ensues and is witnessed by Lysa who blows up. In the aftermath of the kiss, Littlefinger throws Lysa from the top of the mountain and blames the act on a singer who had made sexual advances toward Sansa.
Baelish then becomes Lord of the Vale, which the other lords do not agree with, and Sansa becomes more of a mother figure to Robert. The opposing lords try to expel Baelish from power but lose once he outsmarts them. Littlefinger informs Sansa of his plan to see her wed and return her to Winterfell's throne where she belongs, giving Sansa hope for the future.
What Will The Winds Bring?
My general inclination is to not trust Littlefinger. Everything the man has done has been to further his own aspirations and I believe he will attempt to marry and impregnate Sansa so he has dominion over the Riverlands, the Vale and the North. I think when he attempts to force himself on her she will escape by killing him.
Brienne of Tarth, a knight who had been sworn to her mother, has been searching for her and I believe will find her and attempt to take her back to Lady Stoneheart, Sansa's reincarnated by religion dead zombie mother. Along the way, I think they will be intercepted and will by some way be introduced to Aegon Targaryen and his crew that are battling for the throne.
Sansa and Aegon, both close to the same age, will be wed and will overtake King's Landing from the Lannisters. I believe the biggest threat will come from the White Walkers to the North and Jon Snow will be united with Danaerys Targaryen. The final power struggle will come between Sansa and Jon who are related and Danaerys and Aegon who are also related. Danaerys has her dragons but I do not think Sansa will die, I think somehow they will be victorious and Sansa will get her final story tale of being Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.