Sansa Stark

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Sansa Stark
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
First appearance Novel:
A Game of Thrones (1996)
"Winter Is Coming" (2011)
Created by George R. R. Martin
Portrayed by Sophie Turner
Game of Thrones
Aliases Little Bird
Alayne Stone
Gender Female
  • Princess of Winterfell
    Lady of the Vale
Family House Stark
Spouse(s) Tyrion Lannister
Ramsay Bolton (television adaptation only)
Relatives Eddard Stark (father)
Catelyn Stark (mother)
Robb Stark (brother)
Arya Stark (sister)
Bran Stark (brother)
Rickon Stark (brother)
Jon Snow (paternal half-brother)
Kingdom 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 is the eldest daughter and second child of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn Tully. 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 is confirmed to return in the penultimate impending book, The Winds of Winter.[1]

In the story, Sansa favors traditionally feminine qualities, and is described as tall, slim and beautiful. She shares the looks of the Tullys, rather than the Starks. Sansa is 11 years old at the beginning of the first novel. Initially, she strives to become like the heroines of romantic tales by attempting to find a prince, knight or gentleman to fall in love with. However, Sansa's innocent romanticized notions take a turn as she finds herself as the pawn in the machinations of the other characters at King's Landing. She remains as a hostage, ensuring that she does not say the wrong word to endanger herself and slowly undergoes a maturation process. She is often tormented by King Joffrey Baratheon or Queen Cersei Lannister. Later, she is forced to marry Tyrion Lannister and is humiliated as a result of this. During Joffrey's wedding, she manages to escape as he is poisoned, and is shipped off to the Vale with the power striving, Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger). She adapts the alias Alayne Stone and dyes her hair dark to avoid recapture by the Lannisters, acting as Littlefinger's bastard daughter until he plans to reveal her identity to the Lords of the Vale to reclaim Winterfell and the North.

In HBO's adaptation of the series, Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark is played by Sophie Turner.[2][3] The character has received critical acclaim, being praised as the 4th greatest character in the series by Rolling Stone, behind Tyrion, Joffrey and Daenerys Targaryen.[4]

Character and appearances[edit]

Sansa Stark is the second child of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark. She was born and raised in Winterfell, until leaving with her father and sister at the beginning of the series. She has a younger sister Arya Stark, two younger brothers Rickon Stark and Bran Stark, as well as an older brother Robb Stark and an older illegitimate half-brother, Jon Snow.

Raised as a lady, Sansa 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. Sansa pities her younger sister Arya who is so different from herself due to her strong passion for sword fighting. For a companion animal, she owns a direwolf named Lady.

Sansa has been described as tall, slim, and beautiful, destined to be a lady or a queen. She has blue eyes and thick red hair. Sansa 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, Sansa often finds herself used as a pawn in the machinations of the other characters.


A Game of Thrones[edit]

Sansa Stark begins the novel by being betrothed to Crown Prince Joffrey Baratheon, believing Joffrey to be a gallant prince. While Joffrey and Sansa are walking through the woods, Joffrey notices Arya sparring with a lowborn boy. A fight begins and Joffrey is attacked by Arya's wolf after Joffrey threatens to hurt Arya. Sansa lies to King Robert about the circumstances of the fight in order to protect Joffrey. Since Arya ran off her wolf to save it, Sansa's wolf is killed instead, estranging the Stark daughters.

After Eddard discovers the truth of Joffrey's paternity, he tells Sansa that they will be heading back to Winterfell. Sansa is devastated and wishes to stay in King's Landing, so she runs off to inform Cersei of her father's plans, unwittingly providing Cersei with the information needed to arrest her father. After Robert dies, Sansa begs Joffrey to show mercy on her father and he agrees to allow Ned to live if Ned will swear an oath of loyalty. After promising Sansa that he will be merciful, Joffrey instead executes her father. Sansa is now effectively a hostage in King's Landing and finally sees Joffrey's true nature.

A Clash of Kings[edit]

Sansa is a hostage in King's Landing, and has learned to be outwardly loyal to King Joffrey to avoid severe physical abuse.

At the celebration for Joffrey's name day, she saves the life of Ser Dontos Hollard after he shows up late, winning Dontos' apparent loyalty. Some time later, Tyrion Lannister enters King's Landing and treats Sansa with kindness and respect, protecting her from the guards that abuse her. Sandor Clegane, also called the Hound, protects Sansa from being beaten when he can. Sandor saves her life during the riots in King's Landing, eventually offering to take her away with him during the Battle of the Blackwater. Sansa refuses as she already has a planned escape with Ser Dontos and the Hound vanishes from King's Landing. After House Lannister wins the battle, her betrothal to Joffrey is called off so he can marry Margaery Tyrell. Joffrey informs her he can still use her when he is married and to expect a nightly visitor for a long while.

A Storm of Swords[edit]

Sansa starts to get close to Margaery and her grandmother Olenna Tyrell. Sansa, now a teenager, is first offered a marriage into House Tyrell and an escape from the Lannisters, but the plan is foiled when Tywin forces her to marry Tyrion. Tyrion refuses to consummate the marriage until Sansa agrees. At Joffrey's wedding, Joffrey is poisoned, and Cersei orders both Tyrion and Sansa to be arrested, however Dontos rescues her from the chaos. Ser Dontos is later killed by Petyr Baelish, who reveals that he is the mastermind behind nearly all of the intrigues in the capital. He reveals that he was the one who sent Dontos to her. He also provided Margaery's grandmother with the poison used to kill Joffrey. Baelish smuggles her to safety in the Vale of Arryn, where she poses as his bastard daughter Alayne Stone. She is taken to her Aunt Lysa Arryn, now married to Baelish. Lysa declares that Sansa must marry her sickly boy Robert, heir to the Vale. Lysa later attempts to murder Sansa after seeing Lord Baelish kiss her, but she is saved once again by Baelish, who kills Lysa.

A Feast for Crows[edit]

After Lysa's death, Sansa becomes mistress of the Eyrie and pretends to be Baelish's illegitimate daughter, Alayne Stone. Baelish successfully pacifies the lords of the Vale, who suspected Baelish's hand in Lysa's death. Afterwards, Baelish reveals to Sansa his plans to eventually marry her to the heir to the Vale, Harrold Hardyng, and his long range plans to reveal her true identity and reclaim the North.

Family tree of House Stark[edit]


Inline citations[edit]

General references[edit]