Sansa Stark, the Queen of the North PICTURE: HELEN SLOAN/HBO

Game of Thrones has tested the way I consume TV. It changed how I watch scripted programming and made me want to find out more information about actors and how they felt about certain things that have to do for the TV show.

Sansa Stark was one of those characters whose journey piqued my interest. Originally a snivelling pre-teen who was obsessed with being married off to the prince, she irritated me. It took me two seasons to realise that there was actually nothing wrong with her. 

She was raised to be dainty and a lady, a porcelain doll, groomed to be married to a high born lord. It wasn’t a choice. She knew nothing else. 

It was only when she was exposed to that life and had conversations (if you can call them that) with people who were raised like her exactly, but didn’t have the fairytale ending they thought they would get, did she start realising how fake it all was.

I would say Sansa changed when Joffrey beheaded her father. Here was a boy she was to marry, not showing any mercy to her father. 

From there she knew that she had to survive. She learned when to speak and when to avert her eyes and keep quiet. 

One of my favourite scenes was when she was with Cersei in the second season. Cersei told her something important: “The more people you love, the weaker you are. You will do things for them you shouldn't do to keep them safe.”  

It stayed with Sansa and in a way made her stronger.

There were many other scenes with Cersei, with were training sessions that helped her grow a thicker skin to be able to handle all that she was still going to experience. 

Their bunker scenes during the Battle of Blackwater, were just some of the scenes were she imparted some ‘knowledge’ that would do Sansa well, later on.

It’s why it wasn’t a surprise that Lady Olenna Tyrell said of Sansa: “You will outlive us all.” 

She saw something in her- a hunger for survival and self-preservation. She learnt to not wear her heart on her sleeve, instead think with her head. 

She refused to love (even though she would have loved to marry Ser Loras Tyrell) and learnt that being a bad a** wasn’t such a bad thing.

Even though she was used as a pawn by Olenna, Margaery and Littlefinger, was raped and physically abused by Ramsay Snow, she still used all those harrowing experiences to make her a leader who understands how not to be a leader. 

Seeing her save Jon Snow during the Battle of the Bastards and then setting the hounds on Ramsay Bolton, and sentencing Littlefinger to death, was a full circle moment.

She realised what a mistake it would be to fully trust Daenerys- after being exposed to the most treacherous people, she knows a problematic leader when she sees one and it wasn’t a surprise when her alarm bells started ringing. 

When everyone was just thinking about the battle against the white walkers, she was thinking ahead- what will happen to the North? She became a bone of contention for Daenerys. I keep thinking if only more people listened to Sansa, some of the things that happened this season, wouldn’t have happened.

I’m glad that she is the Queen of the North. Being in Kings Landing scarred her and The Vale wasn’t a pleasant experience. So of course she would want Winterfell to be an independent state. It’s what is best for her people and unlike so many other leaders who didn’t take what their people want, into consideration, Sansa is a refreshingly different kind of leader. She’s a badass and long may the queen of the North reign.

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