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What Will "The Winds of Winter" Bring For Sansa Stark?

Updated on June 8, 2014

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.

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      William 3 years ago

      The part about Sansa being the only Stark who has more "Tully like" features is false. Most of the Starks have red auburnish hair, only a few of the Stark kids have the Stark jet black hair (Arya and Jon have black hair) (i'm going off the book not the show) For example, Cat always complained that the Bastard Jon Snow was ironically the only one of Ned's kids who fiercely resembled him (R+L=J obviously) People think that Bran and Rob and Rickon are black haired but they are ALL auburn haired in the books like their mother Catelyn. Anyhoo, the ultimate point I'm making is that Jon is the only offspring of Ned who looks like so fiercely, almost identically.

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      Ivana 3 years ago

      So many incorrect info in this article:

      - In the books, all Stark children look like Catelyn, except Arya.

      - Sansa didn't take Joffrey's side when she was brought to the witness stand - she said she didn't remember what happened, in order not to take anyone's side.

      - The Hound didn't start calling Sansa "little bird" when he saved her from the mob, he called her that since their second conversation, when he told her the story of his scars; he mocked her courtesy and naivete and told her she was like one of the pretty birds who can only repeat what they are told.

      - The Hound NEVER asked Sansa for a kiss - he asked her to sing for him. It was Sansa who thought he was going to kiss her, but he didn't - and she later imagines that he did kiss her and builds a false memory that she obsesses over.

      As for your predictions, you can't be more off, IMO. I think that you just don't understand Sansa's character or her arc. Sansa has been thoroughly disillusioned with the conventional ideas she's grown up with, especially with arranged marriages; she currently doesn't want to marry at all, since she thinks everyone wants to marry her for her claim, not for love. She's also not impressed with pretty, dumbass, arrogant young princes anymore (she's clearly not interested in Harry the Douche, I mean Harry the Heir), which is why I can't see her falling for Aegon at all. The man she's having romantic/erotic fantasies is the Hound, that says it all (and she also fantasizes about Mya Stone marrying Lothor Brune and clearly projects herself there). She's also enjoying the status of a 'bastard' and freedom that comes with it and is accepting of bastards and women who have relationships outside marriage (she has been fascinated by Ellaria and Mya). And she has no interest at all in being the Queen of Westeros and going to back to King's Landing, even if it didn't come with marrying some douche who wants her for political reasons; the only thing she's more fed up with than being auctioned off for marriages for her claim, is King's Landing. What she wants is to go back home, North to Winterfell and, if possible, be reunited with her family. She thinks most of them are dead, but she's been missing Jon and thinking about him (since he's the only one she's sure is alive).

      Anyone who thinks that Sansa would 1) is still taken by pretty, arrogant dumbass princes, 2) would like to end up in an arranged political marriage with someone who wants her because she's heir to Winterfell/key to the North. 3) wants to be the Queen in King's Landing, and/or 4) would fight her own family for power, really hasn't been paying attention to her chapters at all.

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      Julius Mendoza 3 years ago

      I think there are hints everywhere especially parallels to the rise of Elizabeth in England (who is by the way according to records also auburn haired) that Sansa will rise to power. But how? My theory is she will remain unmarried and "virgin" and will use this to her advantage to manipulate powerful suitors. Jon Snow is not a Stark-Targaryen but rather a Stark-Baratheon, love child of Lyanna Stark and Robert Baratheon, therefore a rightful heir to the iron throne. He will eventually meet Daenerys Targaryen and together they will defeat the white walkers and Aegon. Dany will however die from child birth completing the irony of her character being a "mother of dragons" who lived through fire unburnt but the mother of the king who died in blood. The offspring of Jon + Dany will then be the final union of Baratheon, Stark and Targaryen. I have an inkling that Jon will also not survive leaving an infant behind who is an heir to the throne. Sansa will raise the child, and this child will see Sansa as his mother. Meanwhile Sansa together with Tyrion will sit as Queen Regent. She will do a final act of betrayal and revenge and execute all remaining Lannisters including Tyrion. Then rally the north and the cause of the child heir to the throne to finally subdue all other naysayers. The whole story ends in Spring when the child comes of age and crowned new king of Westeros, Essos and the North beyond the wall. While Sansa remains the Queen Mother who is a power behind the throne and possibly the most powerful woman not only in the Seven Kingdoms but also across the narrow seas. This will end up like a "bitter sweet" unwinding, her finally becoming a queen but no family left (that's why she would annihilate all Lannisters), hated by the king himself for exercising her influence over him (although he can't do much about it) and most of all manless in her advancing age only trying to reminisce her old innocent happy if naïve life in Winterfell. She will have it "power" but she will have no joy but only ashes in her mouth.

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      Chris Robinson 3 years ago

      I think that Winds of Winter will reveal that she and the hound had sex during Blackwater. Sansa says his cloak was bloody from battle, but it could be from losing her virginity. Being an unreliable witness, she could imagine all it was a kid, but her unconscious keeps the cloak as kind of a souvenir

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      Justin 3 years ago

      Your theories are interesting but seem to me that you didn't read the end of fifth book. Jon Snow is a little bit up north with what happened to him and Brienne is busy with Jaime. I can't see any possible way that your idea will happen. Little Finger is clearly making his move towards becoming king. Also you must remember that there is a chance that Jon is not a Stark after all. I don't want to spoil anything but he will learn his real parentage in this or the last book.

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      Cory 3 years ago

      Spoiler:

      It is very possible Aegon is a Blackfyre, an offshoot on the Targaryen family tree that revolted years ago, and not actually Daenerys' little nephew. Although, Sansa getting involved with Aegon is very interesting.

      I do think Aegon will be removed by Dany and maybe Sansa will have a role in that. Very speculative though. I do think Jon ends with Dany due to the R+L=J theory.

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      Andreea X 3 years ago

      i think it's right not to trust littlefinger, but i think you are naïve. aegon has bigger plans than sansa. and jon has bigger problems by the end of the fifth book

      + sansa is to marry ser harry of the vale

      + brienne is delayed because she is bringing Jaime to Lady Stoneheart

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      Marven 3 years ago

      Dude!!! All of the stark kids resemble their MOTHER except for Arya. Robb, Bran, Rickon and Sansa all have the Tully auburn hair and blue eyes. Arya and Jon like Ned, have dark brown hair and grey eyes. They are the odd balls NOT Sansa.