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During this fairly dry article, I'll be focusing on another character who, for some reason, has been often topping the 'most hated characters' lists. I'm not an idiot. I don't expect Sansa to be everyone's favorite, she hasn't killed anyone, she doesn't have dragons, she's not excactly 'purely good' character... She's very unlike the more popular characters.

But in all seriousness, whatculture.com site ranked her as the 6th hated character of GoT last year. Just to put things in perspective Sansa was more ”despicable” than The Fucking Mountain, the man who raided the Riverlands on the orders of Tywin Lannister and killed, raped, and burned people alive during this time. But yeah... Little things.

Admittedly the hate has been reducing and this post might be a year too late but I still see ”Sansa sucks/should die/is the reason why African kids starve” comments on Youtube and Facebook.

TV.com, however, is full of people who aren't borderline idiotic and/or can actually empathize with characters and can think, so the 'hate' comments aren't as common here. And by that previous phrase, I don't mean that if you don't like Sansa, you're an idiot, can't empathize or think... If you blame Sansa for most of what went wrong in the first season then I think that you might be one of those things.

I'm not going to speculate as to what it is in our society shapes us into thinking that Sansa's actions are among the worst of the two first seasons. I wasn't a fan of her. I thought her to be bratty, idiotic, shallow and spoiled (and she was)... But I never thought her to be the cause of pretty much anything significant. Except for one thing, which I'm not going to talk about. It was glorious.

I love lists, so I'll make one about the biggest 'flaws' Sansa has and what I think about those flaws .

#1 She's not Arya

And by that I mean that she acts like a girl, she is a pawn... Well Sansa is almost the polar opposite of Arya. And for some reason, many of those who don't like her, compare her to a character that has nothing else in common with her except for the parents.

- Most of her character is inner monologue in the books. She doesn't have a single soul that she could trust properly and therefore she hasn't really talked about her opinions/views/feelings that much. Arya on the other hand has Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie, Jaqen, and the Hound. This is why it's easier to grow a bit fonder of Sansa when reading the books as you know everything she thinks. It's most likely extremely hard to translate Sansa's thoughts to the small screen.

- She's a lot more passive than Arya. Ties in with the previous point. No one escapes King's Landing on their own. Arya had Yoren, after that she had Gendry, Jaqen, and Hot Pie and now The Hound is helping her.

- She's very passive. I need to underline this. She plays her part because that's how she keeps alive... Well, no... Sansa is the key to the North. No way Joffrey would kill her when Tywin is around.. Or Tyrion. But still, it has most likely saved her from hundreds of beatings.


#2 The death of Lady...

- This is the big one. This is the scene that made me hate the character a bit. Then I started to think.

- The whole incident starts when Arya has asked Mycah, the butcher's boy, to ”swordfight” with her and Joffrey and Sansa come around. - Joffrey acts like a Joffrey and cuts Mycah's cheek. Arya defends Mycah, stuff happens, Nymeria attack Joffrey. No one can blame Arya, she couldn't have known that there would be repercussions for assaulting the prince. OR could she? Dundundun!

- Cersei demands Nymeria's death but as Nymeria is now gone, Cersei settles for Lady's pelt. Robert agrees because he is a great king.

- Eddard fiercely defends his daughter's pet's life by asking ”Is this your will?” from Robert.

- Then proceeds to give the wolf a proper death by killing it himself. Not sure if this was included in the show as it has been a while since I watched the first season BUT... Ned then sends the wolf to be buried in Winterfell aka. Sending the evidence of Lady's death away. Now, this is just a thought: why didn't he just send Lady to Winterfell.. Alive?

- Ned meets the Hound when going to execute Lady. The Hound is carrying the butcher's boy's corpse hinting towards the fact that Mycah would have died anyway as he was most likely killed during the trial.

- #3 Sansa doesn't say anything during the trial.

- She doesn't tell people that her sister attacked the crown prince and she doesn't tell them that Joffrey abused Mycah. Not a move you want to make if you want to be liked, I have to agree here... But if Sansa said ”Joffrey started it” would it have mattered that much to Cersei? She would have still thought that a wolf should die. Lannisters pay their debts. Robert would have still thought that dire wolves aren't pets and after a while, he would have crumbled under Cersei's will.

- This is two edged blade thingy. I can say that Sansa's testimony would have saved Lady or I could say that it wouldn't have mattered because of Cersei. The only thing that's for sure is the fact that Sansa would be more likeable if she would have sided with Arya.

#4 She went to Cersei and told that her father is taking them away from KL.

- Do I even need to say why this is one of the most stupid things you could use when giving arguments for why you hate Sansa? Oh, okay...

- So... I'm Ned. I'm in King's Landing and I think that the Lannisters tried to kill my son and killed my foster father, Jon Arryn because they found out that Cersei and Jaime had been doing it.

- I go to my daughters and tell the truth, the whole truth. They proceed to leave with me because I told them that I believe that the Lannisters tried to kill their brother.

- If I would choose to be vague about this or chose to not tell them at all, everything that happens, happens because of me.

#5 Sansa wrote a letter telling Robb to swear fealty to Joffrey.

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Her father was a prisoner and those who imprisoned him wanted her to write that letter. I would most likely do anything to save my father, writing a letter would be a good start.

- This goes further when Sansa begs Joffrey to spare his father in front of the whole court. She is actively begging for a ”traitor”. That kinda balances it out I think.

#6 Sansa doesn't trust and/or like Tyrion.

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Not really that big of a flaw. Not really a flaw at all. She doesn't trust the Lannisters... The family that killed his father, brother and mother. How very stupid of her to think that the Lannisters are untrustworthy.

- For all of those who think that Sansa doesn't appreciate Tyrion, this is from her book 4 chapter ”When Joff had her beaten, the Imp defended her” so it's not like she forgot everything that Tyrion did for her.

Okay... Dull, dry and preachy... Mission accomplished. Now that that's over I'd like to take a paragraph or two to say that Sansa is probably my favorite character from the show aaand the books. She shows more strength than most by surviving in King's Landing, manages to keep a lot of her empathy for others even though she gets beaten constantly and well... I love characters who are far from perfect. They seem more alive to me than the flawless hero-archetypes. So in a way this was also an article of why I like and appreciate the character so much.

When I started reading, couldn't wait for more Arya and Dany... Now I'm hoping that the Winds of Winter would be released because I want more Theon and Sansa... And Stannis. Goddammit... The day when Game of Thrones' Facebook page starts to promote Stannis and Davos, is the day the apocalypse is growing near... Mark my words.

Sorry for the length, the lack of cohesiveness, and possible mistakes! Here's an image of how many different forms of the word "dog" has in my language:

http://imgur.com/gallery/shSUTzY
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I've never really understood all the hate Sansa gets. To me she is the average person. She's not really clever, she's not really strong. She never got to take sword lessons. She is a girl who likes being a girl and conforms to the standard of her time. And there is nothing wrong with that. She likes dolls and dresses and dreams about marrying a nice prince. The fact that all that gets taken away from her is such a brutal thing, and it makes it easy to sympathise. Even though Arya the younger, I think Sansa is the real representative of lost innocence. She is not safe, there is no one going to protect her and there are people she's never met willing to kill her. She lived a safe, protected life with good, honourable people and when she was suddenly surrounded by people who lie and cheat and kill for power she didn't know that she couldn't trust them. She may have done silly things and she was passive, but in her own way she did everything she could to stay alive, and she used her passivity to her advantage. She tried to save her father, she saved Ser Dontas and she kept her head in a situation where someone like Arya would have lost hers in a moment.
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I really like your post. I read the books before I watched the show and I thought that the book-Sansa is more relatable and we really get to know what she goes through, while on TV she's just kinda boring and maybe hateful.
In the begining of the story, still back at Winterfell I didn't like her. She was spoiled, boring and annoying! The spoiled part really make me not like her!
BUT, she's been growing a lot, she's been through a lot and all the time she had to survive alone! It's so much better in the books!

With that said, she's not my favourite character at all, I think she's still very passive and sometimes it is frustrating. But she's a great character to have in the story because there is people like her in real life and I think there's a lot of potential in the story still to come for her to become a great woman!!!
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Wow. Really nicely explained. Also, very interesting how the main reasons why most people hate Sansa are also the main reasons why she's one of the best characters.

Sansa is a very realistic character in a world of fantasy. She's the one displaying real strenght, even if she's never even thought of dragons, nor has she slain any Others or fought to death against the Mountain. She's the one who, in the hardest times (because, admit it, she's been through quite a lot), has kept on fighting and never given in to madness and despair. I mean, in her place, who wouldn't have lost it?

However, she's still passive. On the TV show she hasn't quite done anything. At all. That's not so obvious on the books. The weakness shown on TV turns into strenght when you understand her thoughts. And at some point, while reading ''A Dance with Dragons'', you realize you miss her and hope for the next book to be issued soon.

Because Sansa is a charmer. Maybe passive and dull, and not so clever, but still a charmer.
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but where is Theon Greyjoy?
have they found Theon Greyjoy?
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I didn't like Sansa at all in the books - I felt she came across as a silly little girl and that was it. But after the first season, when I saw her character portrayed, I started to understand a little more and she quickly became one of my favorites. Most of this is probably because of her interactions with Littlefinger (because he's awesome and that's that) but I still really liked her once I got to the third book.
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I'm not too fond of Sansa. It's a personal opinion and one I don't expect everyone to hold. I can certainly imagine plenty of people really liking her character. Fiction is very much a subjective experience.
But, what I don't get is the idea that we have to like every character. Why not have a flawed, childish, weak young girl in the story? Like I said elsewhere, she's got a lot of potential still, but as it stands, I don't really feel that not liking her has any negative effect on my experience as a reader and/or a viewer.
I also dislike Joffrey (although, to be totally honest, I really like Joffrey as a character because he's such a great villain and hating him hurts so good.)
Not liking Sansa doesn't feel vindicated the way hating Joffrey does. It's more complicated. But, I love the complexity of the characters, and, more importantly, how realistic they are as "people". Everyone has known someone like Sansa in their lives. And, most likely, they didn't like her very much. Such is life.
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I want to add (because I'm just oversharing this morning) that I actually really appreciate how Sansa's POV puts me in a place that is unpleasant in a way much more devastating than all the beheadings and being-burned-alives in all The World.
Let's be honest, asoiaf and GoT are not meant to make us feel good.
What is worse than being completely powerless? Nothing.
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Thanks for commenting!
I was trying (albeit a year or two too late) to address the haters. Not your kind of rational people who just don't like her, but the real haters. Their attitude just got under my skin and I wrote this and then I polished the text a bit... Not very well to be honest... But yeah. I understand your point of view. Not liking Sansa is pretty normal and there's nothing wrong with that but the hate this character seems (seemed) to get was simply abnormal. Like in the article I mentioned that that one site whatchummacallit listed her as worse than the Mountain. I know that naivety and girlyness don't usually win the popularity contest against the likes of Arya, Dany and to some degree Cersei. But still. Worse than the Mountain? But yeah... Sorry for the rant that was also included in the article that you most likely already read.

During my second read, I came to appreciate Sansa's chapters more than most of the chapters. Just because of the things you said. The book series is brilliant but so far no other character has made me feel the feels of the character as well as Sansa's. Being powerless is probably one of the main reasons. Nothing is worse and everyone has experienced it in their life... Albeit to a lot smaller degree.

But, what I don't get is the idea that we have to like every character.

That. Maybe. If I understood it correctly. I don't think you really have to like a character to like the character. Theon has done more evil than good (and the evil he did came from a very believeable and understandable place in my opinion) and I don't really like him but... Such a great character and among my favorites.
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Oh, please! She is just the lost girl. She got caught in the middle of everything and she is being selfish, trying to protect herself. She thinks her family is dead and she is the king's prisoner. She was taught to be the lady and she is acting like one. This is her skill of survival. Arya is the fighter and even if she is younger she was always little bit boy-ish, she was into the boy's stuff. Sansa on the other hand is a typical girly girl. She loved the dresses and stuff and she thought that she'll marry Joffrey and she'll be the queen. After the whole thing started, her father was killed she was terryfied to death. She is a little bit naive, but right now she is fighting to survive. She is in the palace, but her life is a nightmare. Mental abuse is much worse than wounds from fight. Sansa never knows if Joffrey won't kill her or make her suffer in any possible way. She won't be his wife, but he loves to torture her.
I am not big fan of Sansa, but I understand her. Being trapped between all of this, not being able to change stuff.
And the past, well people makes mistakes! We can't come back over and over to the stuff that were.
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I gotta wonder how many of us can relate to Sansa's character and hate that we can.
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I think a lot of us. Right now I can feel her because I am in this position where I have person destroying me mentally and I can relate to Sansa really well. She is scared and I am scared as well. But I have the way out and she doesn't. So this is the thing with her and the rest of the world.
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After the first book I didn't think much of Sansa, because she comes of as not very bright.
If this were a stereotypical highschool drama she would be the popular girl while Arya would be the outcast the audience is rooting for (and who was treaded unfair by her sister Sansa). She appeared to be so shallow and naiv with her fairy tale approach how knights would behave, the beautiful are always good while the evil are ugly etc. Simply annoying.
Of course this is an unfair judgement since she behaved just like a 13 year old highborn in such a society would behave, while Arya is rather untypical.
While that changed in book 2 and 3, Sansa became something else that the audience is not very sympathetic about: a constant victim. Suddenly Sansa was always the victim of bullying and scheming and never really tried to fight back. That's another thing the audience doesn't forgive.
And that's again an unfair judgement, because she actually never got the possibility to fight back.
About her not trusting Tyrion: people seem th forget that she doesn't know what the audience knows. She only knows that he's another Lannister. So WTH should she trust him?!
I've finished now book 3 and I'm curious now what happens next with her, because I'm pretty sure that's not all GRRM has up his sleeve - i'm sure he has plans for her. ^^

Oh, BTW: http://www.imagebam.com/image/470a43313872367
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The whole trusting Tyrion thing is baffling to me as well. It's like some viewers think that Sansa sees everything we see. Sure Tyrion treated her well, but for god's sake... So did Joffrey during most of the first season. If someone treats you well, it doesn't mean you should trust that person.

Being a constant, passive victim is not something everyone cares for but I think it did, in a way, lower the hate. People figured out that maybe she has suffered quite enough. But that's still not enough to make her a fan favorite :)

Cool picture BTW. And good luck with the A Feast For Crows and A Dance with Dragons. I have to admit that I think that they are the weakest of the series and sometimes feel boring but they have their moments. AFFC's best chapters are undeniably Cersei and Sansa while ADWD's best chapters are from Jon and... Reek (By far my favorite character arc of the whole book series)
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She starts an annoying, spoiled, whiny, slap-worthy brat ( the way she talks to the Septa !!! that was totally uncalled for ! ) until Ned dies. After that, as a victim, she becomes slightly more bearable. I'll admit that her relationship with the Hound in book 2 is interesting, and that her arc in book 4 is intriguing, I Wonder where it goes, but for now, I still can't stand her.
I guess most of the hate she gets is a result of her blindness to Joffrey's true nature. Great article anyway.

On the other hand, I don't share the hate for Stannis you mention. Sure, the guy had his brother killed, but that was mainly Melisandre's doing, sure he's clearly not a people's person, but ( stop here if you haven't read the books ) he's the only contender right now to care about a certain blue-eyed problem, so he may make a competent, if not nice, king. ( Even if we all know the throne is Daenerys' to take in the end ... :) )
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Yeah! Stannis is the man and I don't understand the hate either. Justice is the same to Stannis as honor was for Ned. Renly died because he declared himself a king. He was a traitor to Joffrey and Stannis. Sure he would have made a good king, I think, but Stannis will not bend.

The dragons are a bit... Overpowered to say the least. There should be some sort of a dragon-binding-horn that could make the fight a bit more balanced ;;;)
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If people don't like Stannis, I wonder what they'd think if this guy wins the iron throne !!! ( Not that I see that happening, but with Martin, you never know ... )
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I'm always sad to hear when people say they hate Sansa, because she's actually my favourite character in the series. She makes (small) mistakes and is naive, but people forget that she's a fourteen year old girl, and is a more realistic character than many others in the series; and goes through a lot of character development through the series
People tend to favor Arya because she's bolder and is a fighter and is more of an 'action girl.' But both sisters are one and the same; they just handle situations differently. While Arya is out in the wild, forced to use aggression and strength to survive, Sansa is stuck (alone in a den of lions... literally) in court, and she can't use Arya's tactics in this world.
Instead, she relies on her wit and her charm to play the game of thrones and stay alive. She is shown to be a quick learner and very intuitive, especially with Petyr grooming her (and at times, Sansa is able to manipulate even Petyr, which just shows how strong she's getting). She is growing to manipulative the way show!Margery is, but while still being noble and kind. I've always loved how Sansa has never killed anyone this entire time, and I hope it stays that way.
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I have to say I completely agree with you in that Sansa is probably one of the best characters, at least in the books. I found she got a hell of a lot better from the moment Joffrey and Magery got engaged but I think that was because she became much more of a prisoner than before when she was engaged to Joffrey and we could begin to feel sort of sorry for her. At the end of the day, she starts to grow up a lot more from that point forward simply from the fact that she sees a glimmer of hope that she'll be able to escape King's Landing, and perhaps escape the thought of her father's death, to then see it squashed. I think if the Lannisters had let Sansa go at that point, or at least not taken any notice of her so that she could potentially escape King's Landing, she wouldn't have become as strong a character as she has because I don't think she was angry enough about her Ned's execution until she realised the impact it had on her and the rest of her family from that point on. I think this is going to become a lot more clear in the oncoming seasons. But yea, anyway.
I personally don't know how people that have read the books as well as watching the series can call her boring. Simply watching the series I can understand as the character does develop a lot more and quite quickly probably from where season 4 is going to pick up from - dealing with Robb and Catylin's death. However I actually see Sansa as a breath of fresh air in the series. Her story in attempting to survive, much like the rest of the Stark children (incl. Jon Snow) are attempting to do, is so despairing and is probably the only story arc which I have no idea in which direction its heading in. After all she's been through, she hasn't crumbled or gone full on psycho like a certain Lannister, instead she's become so withdrawn into herself, especially considering the confident, and yes bratty, girl from the first book and series, yet still I think she always presents that glimmer of hope. She thinks all her family, apart from maybe Jon Snow, are probably dead or at least lost to her forever and yet she powers on. Basically I love Sansa and I agree with everything you've said. I've just diverged a bit from that point...
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I have to admit that I find it actually understandable and weird at the same time that someone could be bored with her story. There are more action-y chapters in the books while Sansa's are mostly about the political web of the King's Landing and her inner turmoil/depression/anxiety/small glimmer of hope in KL...

When I was reading the books (third to be excact... Started with the first two seasons and then read the books during the gap between S2 and S3), I realized that during Arya's, Dany's and Jon's chapters I was just comfortably reading. Then when Sansa's chapters came this small ball of anxiety formed in the back of my head. I was far more invested in Sansa because even though GRRM has been known to kill pivotal characters, it was plain obvious that there was absolutely nothing that could kill Dany, Arya or Jon... Jon being the only POV on the Wall until the 3rd book, and well... Dany has the dragons. She has to get them to Westeros before anything can really hurt her. And then there's Arya... I just knew that she wouldn't die with the Hound, it was a gut-feeling I suppose. But Sansa's chapters... I was constantly anxious because I had absolutely no idea where her story was going. For the longest time I though that she only served as a fly on the wall so we'd know what's happening in King's Landing. Then Tyrion arrived and I thought that surely Sansa will kick the bucket any chapter now that we have another POV in KL. Luckily that didn't happen, but that feeling I had during Sansa's chapters made sure that her chapters were the best for me.

Then there's the things you mentioned. She has not crumbled, the Lannisters have not broken her spirit even though she thinks herself to be the last Stark alive. Its just makes up such a fascinating character for me that I can't help but loving her.

I don't know if you've ever been to A Forum of Ice and Fire, but they have this 'From Pawn to Player' thread. It's completely dedicated to Sansa and it has my all time favorite analysis of the parallels between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. I'm going to leave it here: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/72119-from-pawn-to-player-rethinking-sansa-x/page-18

It's in the middle of the page by a person with a username Tze (so just press ctrl - f and search for "tze" and it should be easy to find). If you haven't read it, I recommend it. It's one of those things that makes me appreciate the books in a totally new way.
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Sansa is the biggest victim amongst the Starks. Don't think the show has done a very good job of potraying that.
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I think that's exactly the problem. She's constantly a victim and never really fights back. She's weak. Nobody likes weak characters.
I do think things may be looking up for her [left out because spoilers]
But, up to where the series is she's been nothing but a naive victim.
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The show does seem to focus on some fairly unsignificant characters/Scenes at times. 10 episodes, 50 minutes each, and then they decide to add a 5 minute scene of Podrick in a whorehouse. I have no idea why anyone thought that "Yes, this is what the people want to see!". Then the scene where Ros is distraught because of the killed baby... A scene that just had to underline that Littlefinger is douche... Because betraying Ned Stark wouldn't have been enough.
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That's actually the strength of this series, both books and show. There are a lot of unnecessary things but that's what makes the world so 3D. If you only focus on plot, it feels hollow. Knowing small details about your characters makes them all more human. And the rules are always show don't tell. And it set up that fantastic scene afterwards ;)
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I like Stannis a lot! But I hatehatehatehate Sansa. I want her to die,. She is my third more hated character (After Geoffrey and Cersei)
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I think Sansa is going to make up for it in the future. She starts that path to redemption and probably competency in book four. She has been portrayed poorly in the show, mostly due the lack of action in her storyline.
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Sansa is completely misunderstood! In the books I find her chapters to be the most honest (realistic) and compelling of most characters. She shows tremendous growth and she's the true underdog of this series, not Arya! I'm halfway through book 4 now, so I'm not exactly sure what'll happen next to Sansa, but I'm quite sure she'll transcend her mere status of "key to the North" and become one of the major players in the game of thrones. "With Petyr's wits and Cat's beauty, the world will be hers..."
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I love this notion. And it would be so totally GRRM-esque since nobody would see it coming. Sansa is one of the characters with the most potential. It's just taking really long for it to get tapped.
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I read the books first so my opinion of Sansa stems from there and not so much the show. I didn't like Sansa at first but as I continued to read the books I started to sympathize with her character. Afterall in the books she is only 13 years old and is too young or inexperienced to not be manipulated by those around her. Yes she is a pawn, but her slow and steady tranformation in the books intrigue's me more than some of the other character's. I expect her to be the dark horse that no one sees coming.

It's also unfair to compare her to Arya as the are totally opposites in personality. Arya is rash and has short temper and without the guidence (whether she wanted it or not) has helped her survive. Sansa has had no guidence and has had to learn how to survive the political posturing on her own. In most cases that can be more dangerous than just taking up arms and fighting it out.

One thing I've learned is that these characters evolve dependant on the choices they make thus making it a much more compeling story. The TV show has done well following the books and can't wait to see it all play out on screen.
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I watched the first two seasons first and well.. After season 2 I was kind of neutral on Sansa. She acted... Not in a likable manner during the first season but went through soo much crap during the second that I just considered her debt paid.

Then I read the books and I just started to empathize with her pretty soon. She made bad decisions, but every adult around her made even worse. I just started to put her mistaked in perspective.

Your comment pretty much summarizes everything I feel. I love the slow and steady transformation, I think she is a dark horse (and she'd be extremely hard to see coming).
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Also to if you've only watched the show you miss the intricacies of the relationships that you get from the books. However it's still the best adaptation from books to screen that has been produced so far, in my opinion.
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I agree. Especially with Sansa and book 5 Theon. Most of the times they don't speak aloud what they think and those parts are hard to adapt to the screen. But as you said, still the best adaptation from books so far.
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My main problem with Sansa is that we really don't need to see most of her side. She is a normal girl, that is fine. But then don't show us everything that is happening to her, just leave it out... because it is boring. Just set up the scenes that surprise us. This is a LOT worse in the book than in the tv show but still:

I think people "hate" her, because her scenes are usually not very exciting. And that is valuable criticism in a world where they could show so much more interesting stuff. So we are not really hating the character, but rather how much we have to hear about the character.

However maybe all that is just setup.... Things might get more interesting in book 6. Maybe the "twist" will be so much bigger and that is why we have to suffer through Sansa. (don't take this as a spoiler, I am really just guessing)
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Well that could be actually applied to a lot of characters. We don't really need to see anyone else except those who Martin intends to be present during his endgame. But all these characters give depth to the world, opposing perspectives and make the world feel more alive. Most of the things that we see from the POVs are actually pretty important. In the first book, Sansa immediately senses, like immediately, that there's something shady about Littlefinger. Her chapters also provide a lot of the political intrigue which in my opinion makes the books shine. That being said, not everyone is really into the slow-burning character arcs and it's fine.

As for the scenes that surprise us... For Theon it worked. The vanishing act, appearing two books later as a different man. But the whole 'disappear from the story until shit goes down' doesn't work. It wouldn't work for everyone and it would end up being extremely disappointing. After Robb's death and because of the fact that Westeros thinks Bran and Rickon to be dead, Sansa is the heir to Winterfell. Everyone who wants to "own" Winterfell, needs Sansa. I think that's pretty valid reason to expect that she will have a larger role in the last books and I think it would have been stupid for Martin to just make her appear during the action heavy scenes.

I know everyone doesn't really enjoy the 'journey' but I think that's the most important thing.
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I just thought well you are kind of right, but Sansa is soo boring.
Then I skimmed the article again to look for what you said in her defense of being boring(is this grammar?^^)
And you didn't really say anything. You acknowledge her passiveness and link it to the realism. As said earlier, yes she is a perfectly fine girl, probably most people are like her. But storys shouldn't be boring.
Of course surprising wouldn't work if we only see surprising. But would it hurt to cut the normal teen girl a little bit? I want to read a Fantasy Epos and not Twilight.(This is different for Theon or Cercei or the other pawns. They always have sth interesting to do or thing at least) Like I said, in the show it is fine, I actually dislike her scenes a lot less. A) because she shows how the players work(QoThorns, Littlefinger etc) and B) because Sophie Turner is a babe(I can say that, she is 18 now, I looked it up^^) But it is hard to defy that the series did a lot better job of mending boring Sansa with interesting situations than the book.
And in the book, most of Sansa reads like Twilight. (well exagerating to make a point)
So I guess I am just answering your "We need her to be passive to show that people are actually sometimes like that" with a yes.... but does it have to be thaat passive/boring?

That whole key to the north, yes of course I get that, but with interesting I meant she might change into a possible player with the situation she is in, in the book. That is a Sansa I would like to see.
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Oh and I think she's already on the way...

Book 4 Spoilers and theories:

In the Eyrie, after Lysa Arryn is dead and the smaller lords of the Vale come talk to Littlefinger (who's now the Lord Protector of Vale) and one of the attacks Littlefinger and the meeting has to be put on a later date. Sansa immediately realizes that this was Littlefinger's plan all along and LF admits it. He paid the man to attack him because when playing the victim, people are easier to manipulate.
So I'd say that... She's not a player yet (but a politically savvy pawn is still more than any of the Starks have ever been) but just imagine what would happen if LF's plan succeeds and Sansa is married to the distant relative of Jon Arryn (Harry the Heir). And now Littlefinger, Robert Arryn and Harry the Heir die and Sansa ends up as the Lord Protector of the Vale... The only kingdom (apart from Dorne) that has an army that has not fought a single battle during the war and is at full force. Personally, I don't think it will go this smoothly or even this way but I think that Sansa is actually a lot closer to a power position than people think.
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I didn't feel the need to prove that she's not boring as these are opinions. The whole article was more of me wondering why she gets way too much hate and then I addressed those things. If she'd get hated because people think she's boring, I wouldn't have been able to prove them wrong.. People just are so different. You think that she's boring, that's fine. It's your opinion. My opinion is that her story and character arc are subtle, she evolves slowly and I love it. It's not for everyone.

Like I said during the start of the article, I'm not an idiot and think that she should be or is the favorite of everyone. It's just that in these few years I've had my face blastered with these "Action, action action...!!" movies and shows and books that I just began appreciate this kind of a slow evolution when I read these books again.

But yeah. The article does have a emphasis on the word hate. The amount of people who hate Sansa has been decreasing (if the Youtube/facebook comments are to believe), but those who hate her mostly hate her for the things I mentioned in the article and not because they think she's boring.

I really don't know if that helped clarify what I meant. Sometimes I can't express myself perfectly when using English.
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I wasnt trying to differ between her being boring and her getting the hate. I agree to all the points you make in the article. I just think, her being boring ("the opinion") is why people "hate" her.
--wage spoiler--
Also I totally agree with your first post, she is going to be awesome, but that talent... could have been more pointed out before.
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You are right, Sansa gets an unfair amount of criticism. Most of it stems from first impressions and the fact that she is passive, but that doesn't change the fact that for the entire first season every major decision she made was the wrong one.

It is a little unfair to compare Sansa and Arya. Arya is a dynamic character that makes decisions people can sympathize with. She chafes under the role given to her by society, does what she thinks is right, she learns to defend herself, and most importantly grows as a character. This is the type of character that makes people tune into an episode of television, and keep coming back.

Sansa, on the other hand, is about as unlikable as possible. First impressions are difficult to overcome, and Sansa has done little to change them. Her refusal to speak up at the "trial" was her first major decision in the story, and it was a terrible choice. Hindsight will tell you that her voice would probably mean little to the proceedings, but that doesn't change what she did. Sansa sat by and watched an innocent suffer because she liked a boy. In essence she was too selfish to do the right thing. You could argue her punishment is the death of Lady, but Sansa refused to learn from this incident and still clings to her selfish desire for romance with Joffrey.

Sansa's selfishness again comes up when she reveals her father's plan to get her and Arya away from KL. Again this act was born of selfishness, she had been seduced by the pageantry and pomp of KL. It is unfair to expect a person Sansa's age to keep secrets, but the fact remains her actions greatly contributed to her father's downfall.

I could go on, but this is too long as it is. Sansa's first impression and second impression make her a difficult character to root for much less like. Sansa does not suck, she should be pitied.
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The way you phrased the second paragraph makes me think that you don't think that Sansa is a dynamic character, does everything she thinks is wrong and does not grow as a character. And I really do hope it's the phrasing and not the way you think.

Ned's downfall was literally all his own doing. Sansa did go to Cersei, should be judged for that decision, but Cersei already knew that Ned was going to act. Sansa's actions did not 'greatly' contribute to her father's downfall. I mean if we go to details, not a single significant player in KL wanted Ned dead. Everyone knew that it would cause a war.

And I know first impressions are hard to overcome. I mean have you seen the comments on youtube? Dany's line about people either living in her new world or dying in their old is extremely disturbing if you think about it. She is basically saying that everyone who disagrees with her, will burn and that there is no middle ground. Yet not that many are wondering that maybe she is wondering into a bit too righteous territory. First impressions are often the death of character growth. Well at least death of noticing the character growth.

But you are right. Sansa is a hard character to root for.
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Compared to other characters in this story, Sansa is not a very dynamic or interesting character. Tyrion, Caitlin, Jamie, Jon, Arya, Sandor, Dany, and Ser Jorah all are far more interesting characters than Sansa. I won't call her the worst character in this series, but she is just not a particularly compelling one. She is no Bella from Twilight, but I expect a good deal more from the characters in this show than in other ones.

Not everything Sansa does is wrong; she is a compassionate person in terrible circumstances. I have not failed to notice her growth, but as i have stated before her growth is negligible compared to the people around her. It is unfair to expect her to grow at the same rate as others but she brings up the rear here.

Listen, if you don't want to read terrible things don't read the comments on YouTube. That is where civility and education go to die. Twitter to a lesser extent.

Dany's arc is disturbing to say the least. Personally I am not a fan of her's I find her story off putting and she is much less sympathetic than Sansa. That said her story is much more interesting.
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Sure Tyrion loves his family but his relationship with Cersei (who blames him for their mother's death) and Tywin (who also blames him for Tyrion's mother's death) is strained/bad. They don't love each other as much as they tolerate each other.

Tyrion promises vengeance to his sister because if he doesn't, Cersei would realise that Ros is not the whore that Tyrion brough to King's Landing (and making Cersei think that she has the upper hand). Sounds to me like the season 1, witty and wise Tyrion. Tyrion gets a position of power because of his name, not because of his character growth and his changing personality/attitude. These two points are parts of his character arc (which has proceeded a lot more than Sansa's). He reacts to these changes without really changing himself (apart from getting anxious about hiding Shae).

The only point I'd say is substantial character growth is the fact that he is willing to stand up to his father. His attitude towards his father changed when they had their discussion about who will inherit the Casterly Rock. He did get a bit more grim after someone tried to kill him during The Blackwater.

Sansa on the other hand is further from her S1 personality and attitudes than anyone on the show is currently. And this should be a given, but that's my opinion. You have yours, it differs with mine and I think it makes for great conversation.

So, to use your logic. Tyrion changes very little and when he does, the change is 'obvious' and should not be constituted as great character growth.

Now that that's over, maybe we should just agree to disagree.
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I don't mind reading comments that bash Sansa to be honest. I understand why they think that. And you're right, Youtube is where civility and education go to die. Which is the perfect reason to read the comments as 90% comments make you realize just how superior you are to most Youtubers. Just kidding of course :) but the amount of ignorance in Youtube makes me as amused as it makes me angry at times.

I just reaaaally have to... Address the dynamic thing (and go on to say that I'm not entirely sure what makes a dynamic character. I have thought that to be a character that obviously or subtly changes after certain important events). Season 1 Sansa was naive, overly-trusting and bratty. Season 3 Sansa doesn't trust anyone (apart from Margeary and she doesn't tell her everything either), has lost most of her naivety and doesn't really feel as bratty as she did in the first season. She just wants to go home. That makes her one of the most dynamic characters so far, her personality has made a 180-turn. Might not be interesting, but extremely dynamic. She will never be the one who has a hands-on approach to everything like Arya, but I think almost a complete 180 turn in her attitude is more than what most characters have done.

Tyrion is interesting and fun, but in three seasons he hasn't really changed that much (he has changed a bit) yet, and while I think that you either are a dynamic character or not (no middle-ground), you have to admit that he's not "as dynamic" (which I find to be a ridiculous statement as I previously stated: you are dynamic or static) as Sansa... Yet. He's still the lovable good guy with a few flaws he was in season 1. And it's okay. He is starting to change, he's a lot more hostile and untrusting of his family than he was in the first season. I'm not bashing Tyrion or anything, he's one of my favorite characters.
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No, you are not dynamic or static. It is a gradient. Sansa has changed little, Arya a lot; but both have changed. That argument is a false dichotomy.

A dynamic character, shows personal growth or change. This is why Sansa, to me, is not very dynamic. She got seduced by the court and the idea of being Queen. When the idea of being Queen proved to be a nightmare she wanted to go home, excuse me if I do not think that constitutes great growth. She once was trusting, but is now more cynical. That happens to every person on Earth.

Tyrion Loves and protects his family at the beginning of the show, later he is promising vengeance on his sister, becomes a political power on his own, and openly defies his father. How is he not more dynamic than Sansa?

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I have always liked Sansa, both in the books and on the show. I could never understand this obsessive online hate by grownass people towards this naive, brave young girl.
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I understand that she did unlikeable things and people might not like her, but the savage hate is seriously disturbing... And luckily on the decrease.
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Sorry about the double (I posted yesterday); I just realized something else.

Regarding: "Just to put things in perspective Sansa was more ”despicable” than TheFucking Mountain, the man who raided the Riverlands on the orders of Tywin Lannister and killed, raped, and burned people alive during this time. But yeah... Little things."

Here's the thing... most of us can't hate Gregor Clegane. This is because, well... we heard a lot of third-hand accounts of horrible things that he'd done. But all we actually saw, was Gregor Clegane briefly losing his temper with a horse.

Hatred, or love or any kind of visceral reaction, for that matter, for most of us, can only happen with a) POV characters, and b) other characters who directly affect POV characters, in some way that involves free choice.

Why do we hate Joffrey? Is it because he, say, orders people killed for throwing a cow pie? No. That certainly doesn't help, but that's not why we hate him. We hate him because of what he did to Ned, and then to Sansa. And, to a lesser extent, to Tyrion, and for rejoicing in the suffering of other POV characters that we care about.

At no point, did Gregor Clegane's free choices in life directly affect any POV character. In fact, he never seems to have any feelings about any POV character at all. So he's just a brutal bit character to us. Somebody who may have a big impact on the lives of people in that world that we've never truly met, but to us, he's just a bit character. And we can't hate bit characters, no matter how despicable they are.

Ramsay Snow/Bolton, OTOH... (and I don't even like... the POV character he affects (I haven't seen S3 yet, so I don't know if I'd be spoiling if I said who it was, so just in case). I don't like that POV character at all, but just by virtue of him being a POV character that Ramsay did... stuff... to, Ramsay is now in a position where he can actually be hated.)
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Honestly, I think most of the hate comes from a combination of:

A) First Impressions.

Our intro to Sansa really sucked. She acted like a spoiled brat who didn't care about what was happening to other people during the whole "Joffrey beating a kid / Arya defending the kid / moving to the castle" bit. In short, your typical preteen kid.

But first impressions count, and it's hard to undo whatever damage they might cause. There was a lot of damage here.


B) Her storyline doesn't contribute that much. She's more or less a tragic pawn being moved all over the board by the various jerks in Westeros.

Lately most of her scenes involve someone either abusing her, jerking her around, or just flat out using her as a pawn.

Ultimately, her storylines and scenes DO contribute to other characters' motivations and their plans. But the average person just sees it as her sitting there sadly and getting moved to another room where she sits sadly.

So B) hasn't really helped people get passed A) very much.
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I started to hate Sansa after the first couple of episodes of the show Her actions and reactions were annoying and wrong. Mostly how she handled the whole "Joffrey beating Arya's friend" scene. It was all about HER and now HER day is ruined and bla bla bla.

However, eventually I chalked it all up to being a young+stupid+immature girl so I gave her a pass. Face it, young preteens are stupid and annoying and mean no matter what the era and sometimes act borderline evil. Fortunately they tend to grow out of it. And in her point of view, she was THIS close to accomplishing what she's been groomed to do: marry into royalty. Heck Joffrey was probably like her version of Justin Bieber.

And THEN... well she just started suffering. A lot. Seriously her whole situation has sucked thus far: lost her father, lost most of her family, pretty much under house arrest, being threatened by an EVIL child king, etc. She's been jerked around, almost given what she desires, almost freed from her prison, and then used as a pawn and forced to marry Tyrion (who actually turned out alright).

It's hard to not feel empathy for her: she's served a lot of penance for someone who's worst acts have been the stupid decisions of a child.
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Untill now sansa haves been just an egocentric teenager on the TV show.. and also in the books, where the character was almost ignored in the last 2.. but in the few pages that she recive.. i like the turn of the 3 queens that R.R. Martin give to that character 'cause she was indeed too simple and irrelevant... it looks like she learn a lot of littlefinger on the eagle's nest and that give her a little bit more potential on the TV show as well.. let's hope Mr. Martin gives her some pages on the upcoming book in order to make her more complex and interesting (mg.. he is obsessed with theon.. that character haves several chapters and they are all mostly boring).

She's a good character in GOT... everybody can't be an skilled and powerful hero.. that's why sansa haves potential.. 'cause she make mistakes and is more "real"... and some of us think that she may want some revenge as well as redemption at the end.
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Haven't read the books, but I do see the purpose of Sansa. The way I see it, Sansa is a reflection of Cersei. I wouldn't be suprised that she will get pregnant and either die while giving birth or become a demonical bitch.


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A very nicely thought out review, and I agree that Sansa isn't as horrible as some people make her out to be.
The only thing you can really blame her for is being weak, but even that isn't entirely her own fault - she was raised as a "proper lady", groomed to marry some noble and do her duty for her family (like Katelyn herself once did).
Yes, she has a selfish streak, but it's a small one at best, and most of the harm she caused has been out of naïvete rather than malice.

"Sending the evidence of Lady's death away. Now, this is just a thought: why didn't he just send Lady to Winterfell.. Alive?"
Because Ned Stark was honest to a fault, it was the man's greatest weakness - he would never deceive his king and old friend in such a way, honor would never allow it.
Not to mention the example he'd be setting for his children.
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Re #4: Sansa went to Cersei because she wanted to marry Joffrey and be Cersei. That was dumb. Not evil or hate-inducing, but dumb. She was selfish. She should have trusted her father - parents don't have an obligation to tell their children every reasoning behind their actions. Not now, and certainly not in the faux medieval setting of Westeros.

This does not make me hate Sansa. Reading the books have allowed me to understand her actions. There are only a few characters who are truly worth hating. Joffrey, Bolton, Boltons son and a few more.
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And yes, Stannis, so far the biggest travesty of the TV adaptation. Still praying for the (went something like) " I thought I had to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I actually have to save the Kingdom to win the throne" line

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I seriously hope that season 4 will change this a bit... Not that the trailers show that in any way. They copy/pasted his line about being a page in someone else's history book from the second trailer and used it in the third as well. Seems to me that D&D don't really like the character. It's not like he's the best character ever, but they could at least try to focus on him a bit more... Considering that he's one of the few kings still alive.
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I'm crossing my fingers, Stannis is one of my favorite character, and definitely my favorite King/Queen, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I mean they gave Tormund Giantsbane a character poster, but not Davos or Stannis??
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Yeah... I didn't really appreciate Stannis during my first read, but on the second... You have to admire him. Grey character but I think he is the closest thing to a hero this series has.

...And it was kind of blasphemous, the character posters... Tormund is a fun character so I didn't mind his character poster that much but... Daario... Daario got a poster... Stannis and Davos didn't. Are you kidding me HBO? HBO (D&D?) promotes Dany so much that I wouldn't be surprised if there came a "Unsullied #349" character poster before Stannis got his own...
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Ha, I know their favoritism toward Dany has no bounds, and I also liked the Tormund poster, but as for characters who deserve a poster by season 4, Stannis and Davos should be on that list, hey at least Team Dragonstone had one poster this time with Melisandre.
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Bless this post, it is not a surprise to may that I am one of the few Sansa defenders on this site, but I will admit it wasn't until later in the series that I began to love Sansa. I mean she was far from my favorite character in book 1 (season 1), but as the series continued I will defend her until my last breath, though she is still not my fave, Brienne all the way. Sansa is not your traditional strong badass character like Arya, but I still find her strong, she managed to survive in the pit of Lions, the same Lions who murdered her family, and she is still alive. I must agree the of all the characters on the show Sansa is the most realistic, she was frankly a naive teenage girl in book 1, but she has evolved, and hate should not ever be a associated with Sansa in season 3-4.
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I wasn't a fan of the character after the first book/season either. Particularly the book. I'd say Sansa's characterization was pretty inconsistent at times during the first book (most likely because of GRRM's own will rather than sloppy writing, but it still bothered me a bit) and I have to admit that I prefer the show's version of book 1 Sansa. It's a bit more balanced.

The thing I find to be most annoying is that people often describe her as the weakest of the Starks or the most weak willed and then rarely provide any reasoning for their opinion, which is all I need.
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I feel that sansa is the most real character in the show. People forget that at the end of the day she is a 14 year old girl who has been pampered all her life and brought up as a lady. I know you're gonna say well Arya was too but she's a maverick, you cant compare the two.

Can you really blame her for having a crush on a boy purely based on looks(because no teenage girl has ever done that), or for not siding with her sister(Because all female teenage siblings love each other and never fight), or getting mad at and disobeying her father(No teenage girl has ever done that)? She's not my favorite but I feel like people underestimate and over judge her.

Can we discuss my our hate for Joeffrey now?
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"People forget that at the end of the day she is a 14 year old girl who has been pampered all her life and brought up as a lady."


I blame her mother.
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You know, that kind of makes me wonder w t h the mom was doing all that time.

The mother seemed very smart and practical, and very strong and self-assure. Now granted, Sansa is still a young kid and prone to making stupid decisions. REALLY stupid decisions.

But Sansa, as depicted on the show anyway, doesn't seem to reflect much of any of her mother's raising or values.

I know royalty and nobility usually don't do THAT much to raise their own kids... but compared to the rest of the kids you have to wonder w t h the parents did with her that they didn't do with the other kids (or vice-versa)
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I think it boils down to weakness. Sansa is a uniquely weak-willed character in a story that's full to bursting with strong women. She gives us no reason to root for her (feel sorry for her? maybe, but root for her? no). Accordingly, our tolerance for Sansa's bad decisions is a lot lower than it is for other characters (i.e. where a "stupid" action might be forgiven of Daenaerys because she's conquering Slaver's Bay with dragons and super soldiers, we're given far fewer reasons to "look the other way" should Sansa do the exact same thing).
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I hate Sansa.
Who cares whether she’s a good person or not, that has nothing to do with what makes us like a character. Sansa is boring, and that is the only sin there is. If she were to blame for everything that wen’t wrong, well, then she could at least be a little bit interesting... but no, she’s just irrelevant, she’s dull, and we’re forced to look at her for way longer than we should.
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I think you'd like the "A Forum of Ice and Fire" forums, if you're not already on there. :)

Nicely laid out points, and I think you nicely addressed most of the reasons for the Sansa hate. Except for mine. :)

Little background: I read books 1 and 2 before there even was a TV show, so my reaction to her is largely based on the books. I have no idea why people hate her as she appears in the TV show, since we're not even privy to her thoughts there.

I really hated Sansa in book 1. It was a very visceral reaction. I thought, for a long time, that it was in contrast to Arya (who was probably my favorite character in book 1. Her, and Ned). But now that I think about it, my big objection to just the way she is, is because her chapters were contrasted with Ned's. Ned is... Ned. He MUST have raised her to be less shallow and spoiled and privileged and disparaging of people in lower social castes than... that.

And then the Lady incident happened.

For the record, I do not blame Sansa for the Lady incident. I don't even blame Sansa for not sticking up for her sister, and for the truth, in front of the King and Queen. I DO, however, blame Sansa very much for blaming Arya for the entire incident. For the entire rest of the book. This, in spite of the fact that the truth, which was right in front of her, was that Joffrey and Cersei were to blame for Lady getting killed. Joffrey ordered an innocent child to attack him, armed only with a stick. Then Joffrey lied about the entire incident. Blatantly. And then Cersei demanded Lady's death, even though Lady wasn't even remotely involved. Sansa saw all of that.

And still, for the entire rest of the book, Sansa's POV chapters were filled with, "It's all Arya's fault. Why does she have to spoil everything with me and Joffrey? It's her fault that Joffrey won't speak to me anymore. It's her fault that Joffrey [fill in the blank]. It's her fault that Lady is dead." Basically, Joffrey showed Sansa some of his true colors, and this was somehow all Arya's fault. For the entire rest of the book.

And, in the midst of all that self-pity and Joffrey-adoration, Sansa manages to never spare a single thought for the innocent boy that Joffrey got killed, who was Arya's only friend on the trip. Arya kept bringing him up, and Sansa would just dismiss it, every time. A child got trampled to death on Joffrey's orders, and Sansa simply refused to care. Her stated reason for not caring, was, "who cares about the stupid butcher's boy?"

And, even though she had plenty of evidence that Joffrey and Cersei were not to be trusted, especially as it concerned her family, she still continued to trust them, even above her own family.

So, yes, Sansa was, by far, my least favorite POV character in book 1. After book 1, of course, that changed. A lot. Not only did her situation become a lot more sympathetic (a lot more sympathetic) after book 1, but she herself became a lot more sympathetic. To the point where, by book 3, I actually preferred her chapters to many of the other characters'. Her eyes were so rudely opened, and she has grown up so much as a result, and in such survivalist directions, it's downright inspiring. :)
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I disliked her a lot in the first book, I have to admit... Mostly because of the reasons you just listed. And for some reason it didn't help that there became a chapter or two where she was actually very likable...

The tourney chapter... When the Hound tells his story to her, Sansa was extremely sympathetic towards the Hound and knew what to say and as a result she hoped that the Hound would win the tourney. That chapter showed almost every single one of Sansa's positive traits in just a few pages. I think that the point of that chapter was to make Sansa a bit more likable and show the readers that she's actually pretty smart when she wants to be...

...And then became the next chapter and she was the Arya-blaming, bratty and lovestruck teenager than she was before, showing none of the traits she had in the previous chapter. Then her father died and she was taken to see the head and she made the snarky comment about her brother giving her Joff's head and thought about pushing him down the bridge, and she was likable/not as annoying as before.

I've made this similar comment a few times on this article already but... What the hell George? Was this intended as some sort of hormonal teenage thing? Was it sloppy writing by Martin? Was it intentional just so the readers would appreciate that she became much more sympathetic in the second book? Was it some sort of symbolism; Sansa lost her wolf, gained a "dog"? I have to admit that even though the books are superior in almost every way possible, the show made Sansa more constant in the first season. She didn't have that talk with the Hound, so she didn't really show an abrupt change in character before her father died.
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I think they may hate it lol ,you know how fast anything negative about Sansa/Cat/Dany gets locked lol
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Yeah, excactly why I don't like the forum that much (although they have some great threads). Although I seriously doubt that they intentionally close those threads because they critisize the characters. Those three are the more polarizing characters in the whole series. Every thread (that they are the subject of) has the logical arguments from each side, the obvious flamers (in each side) and the people who overreact (in each side). Sometimes the flaming/overreacting just gets so out of hand that it causes people to start taking things to personal insults.
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I didn't like Sansa when I read the books, but I finally realized it isn't because Sansa is a terrible character. It's because I never appreciated girly girls. I realize that is more about me than the character. I always thought of myself as a tomboy, so I related more to Arya, but Sansa is brave and strong. She has grown on me, and now I love her. She's a great character in the story and I admire her.
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She isn't the most interesting character of the series, but I don't think she deserves all of the hate. And even though I thought she was an obnoxious teen in the beginning, I enjoy reading her chapters and watching her in the show because she becomes a very complex character and Sophie Turner does a good job portraying Sansa.
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Yeah... I think my article got a bit messy and I got to defending her way too much on some of the points I made. Truth is, she made bad decisions, suffered for those decisions and she is flawed and passive and complex character. I like that more than anything else for some reason, most don't.

You mentioned reading so I have to ask... Did you ever think that her character was extremely inconsistent in the first book? She's compassionate, smart and intuitive in the chapter where the Hound tells her how he got his scars. In the same chapter she roots for the Hound in the turney as she has come to the realization that the man is not evil or bad... In the next chapter she is pretty much the worst character in the whole book, an obnoxious teen, showing none of those virtues whatsoever. Did Martin aim for some teenage hormone thingy or is this just plain inconsistent characterization? I really can't tell.
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Sansa is a pivotal character and I am certain in future she is gonna play crucial role but she is just too plain for my taste. In a show which provide us with plenty of option as far as characters are concerned I don't think its a surprise that she isn't on favorite list of many. And now coming to hate bit. Well biggest amount of hate which she generated was during season one. And it was in someway justified. You may argue about it and give the logic she was young (to be honest being young logic is just wrong as by that logic one could defend Joffery too) and all but in the end it was due to her which Cersei was able to know about Ned's plan. Moreover I know its wrong two characters but in season one when Arya and Sansa are both present at the same place - subconsciously one start comparing both sisters. And in that comparison Arya would always trump Sansa. But however in later seasons when Arya and Sansa are not in same frame one can empathize with Sansa and she become more bearable character later.

P.S - All said and done only Stark whom I can see surviving the entire show or the books, apart from Rickon, is her. So yeah in the end she would be the key to north.
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Yeah. I aim to never use the "But she's yooouuung" as an excuse for what she did. It makes her actions believeable but it does not justify them by any stretch.

It's easy to make compare the sisters and as Arya has been a fan favorite from the first season, the sister that mocks her isn't really going to top the "Best character ever" lists. You can actually see it a bit with Ramsay and Theon. Some people (Mainly the FB fans who think Dany's name is Khaleesi... thank god a minority) don't really think that Ramsay is all that bad because he's torturing a character who did despicable things in the past...
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Well I forgot to add one more point. One more thing which goes against Sansa is - she is really an odd member of Stark family. Each Stark have its own streak of awesomeness, likability and that X factor which makes fan like them and root for them. But compared to that Sansa come across too plain, naive and simple. When you come from such prodigious family, people have huge expectations and Sansa is no where close to full fill them. This disappointment also may have triggered people's negativity about her.
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I don't hate Sansa, I just don't particularly care what happens to her. I think, at the beginning, she was a very naive, stupid little girl. She seems to be growing out of it, but is still way to passive for my taste.

There are so many interesting characters on the show that there's someone to like for everyone - Sansa's not for me.


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Sansa is a very good character and a good enough person. It doesn't make any sense to hate her. I got pissed off too when she took Joffrey's side in the conflict with Arya early in season 1, but that was just one thing that she did when she was 13. When Ned got captured, she did what she could to try to help. There's literally nothing else she could have done. She's been in an impossible situation since then. She knows that if she makes a poor choice of words when she's talking to someone, it could get her tortured, mutilated or killed. And now most of her family is dead. The shit she's been through is a thousand times worse than what she deserves as punishment for her mistakes. They are also extremely good reasons to not always be in the best mood.

If that season 1 incident turned you against her, then how could you not turn back after the scene at the end of the season where Joffrey took her to see the severed heads? She looked down at the streets and thought about jumping. Then she turned and looked at Joffrey. You know what she was thinking. Would she have gone through with it if The Hound hadn't stepped in? I don't know, but the fact that she took that option seriously is enough for me. This is a girl who knows exactly how badly she screwed up earlier in the season.

That was a fantastic scene by the way. Sansa, Joffrey and The Hound all contributed to making it fantastic. She was also involved in one of my favorite scenes of all time, from any show, the scene where Joffrey had her beaten and Tyrion saved her. Sure, that was mostly Tyrion's moment, but the contributions from Joffrey, Sansa and The Hound were very good as well.

I don't get how anyone can think that a character who gives us scenes like that isn't interesting. Even if you don't think she's an interesting person, you should find her situation very interesting. What makes a person interesting anyway? I would say that the most important thing is the situation they're in. I like Arya even more, but it's not like Sansa's arc would have been better if her personality had been a copy of Arya's. She's in an interesting situation, and her personality is appropriate for the situation she's in.
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In the scene where she looks over the edge I took it that she was going to try to throw Joffrey over, not jump herself. Interesting.
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My interpretation is that when she saw how high up they were, she first thought about jumping but quickly decided not to. Then she looked at Joffrey and thought about pushing him to his death instead. She had to understand that this would mean her death as well, and yet she started moving towards him. It looked like she would rather have them both die than both live.
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Sansa is the Meg Griffin of Game of Thrones.
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If Sansa had at least on true friend in king's landing she could do some damage out there because she's not that stupid as you all think she is, she's actually very smart, but when you are surrounded by traitors, duplicitous and killers you just have to look out for your self and play ''the frightened little girl'' so that people doesn't feel threatened by you...
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I mostly agree those Starks are not ready for that viper pit...she needs time/HELP lol!
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I agree. I'm tired of people coming up with unreasonable reasons to hate on innocent characters just because they are not the most badass or most important. I like Sansa, especially since you can clearly see how much she has grown and had to grow up, from the beginning to now. I love her transformation from being a completely naive love sick girl to being slapped in the face with some harsh and horrifying realities and not only dealing with it but growing up and becoming smarter and stronger for it.
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She is growing terribly slow...look how easily she is fooled by the Tyrells not to say it wasn't a good option getting away from KL. Still after all she learned around the Lannisters she is drooling over her sweet handsome knight in shinning armor AGAIN!!!
She should have known by then it is not that simple/perfect.
Just like when she adopted the Capital look, she quickly went on to adopt the Southern look of Tyrells. Remember even her Septa questioned why she was changing so much when she would do her hair like Cersei.
Anywhoooo, she doesn't know who/what she is I think she will learn, she can become a serious player book readers will know what I mean;o)
I don't think she is worthy of hate not in that world, but servere disappointment and annoyance lol
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Sansa is weak. Cowardly. Concerned more about her place in a morally bankrupt society. And it's unfortunate that she could end up being the last Stark standing because she's more cockroach than wolf. I don't hate her. I pity her.
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So, what you're saying is, she's human. Oh God. How can she recover from such a mortal affliction her character? -_-
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I don't know, Theon is human too...so is Ramsay and they are far more interesting despite their wearkness and cowardy.

Cersei, Lord Frey and The Lady Olenna are more concerned about their place in a morally bankrup society too are they are far more interesting as well.
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I wouldn't descibe Ramsay Snow as human but whatever.

You just pciked 3 people with more political power in their pinky finger than Sansa Stark. It also helps that they're a lot older and wiser(to varying degrees) than Sansa is. Stick 14 year old Cersei in Sansa shoes and I don't see how she could be faring any better or be more interesting than Sansa is.
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Ramsay isn't that much older (neither is Theon for that matter), he's just viler (and Theon more coward than her): they are still far more interesting to see.

Now Cersei is wiser, but that doesn't make much difference and she's still far more interesting than her.
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"and" instead of the second to last "are".
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I've never thought about it that way before, but I can't deny Sansa is choosing to die in their old world rather than to live in the new one like Daenerys has put it on the trailers over and over.
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I have to agree with you, I actually find Sansa to be an interesting character, maybe that is because I remember what it was like to be a teenage girl and in love, or at least thinking I was. And I was pretty scared of being rejected by all my peers, and the worst thing they were going to do was ostracize me, not kill my entire family...

As far as points 2, 3 and 4 go....Sansa lives up to what is expected of women in their society, she is girly and likes girly things, she wants a husband who can provide and take care of her. She's nobility but not royalty and she behaves like a noble woman would. She doesn't have the pedigree or history that Danaerys had (who may I point out at the beginning was just like Sansa, she was a pawn for her brother, she married Karl Drogo so that he could have an army and then came into her own later.) All of a sudden Sansa is told that she will marry Joffrey and be Queen. For a young noble girl this has to be a dream come true. She doesn't speak out against Joffrey because she doesn't want to jeopardize her standing. And in season 1 Sansa has a crush on Joffrey and wants to be queen....I don't know that you can blame a thirteen year old girl who is told that you can be super powerful and important and have lots of pretty things but only if this boy likes you. She should want that boy and his family to like you. OK she was immature and should have stuck up for her sister and her friend, but she thinks her sister is inappropriate and should behave like a girl. Plus I think that Arya is allowed to get away with a lot more, had Sansa (the oldest girl) behaved that way she probably would have been put in her place. As a result, Arya has a very different relationship with her brothers and more importantly, their father.

After her father's imprisonment and death Sansa is alone in KL. She has to figure out how to survive in a very political and dangerous place alone. So she keeps her mouth shut, does what Joffrey tells her to. She tries to protect her family (or what is left), she pleads for her father, she compromises her beliefs, saying that her father is a traitor, to protect her father, her siblings and herself. And she should look out for herself...

You can't compare Arya and Sansa's situations. Most likely, if you swapped them I don't think either would survive. Sansa understands diplomacy. In KL she has to depend on the kindness of strangers and almost no one is kind. I think she shows a lot of strength and grace in adversity. I think that people enjoy game of thrones for a lot of different reasons. And Sansa doesn't have the violence or assertiveness of Ayra, but she can navigate the treacherous politics of KL to keep herself alive and that's nothing to sneeze at

I think/hope that things will change between Sansa and Tyrion. As far as things go, she could have done so much worse...Joffrey, Little Finger (who is creepy in love with her mother) or even Jaime (I mean they could have married her to anyone) I think that their relationship will grow and that she will see him for more than just a member of the family who killed her father. She is starting to see beyond his reputation...

I hope for more Sansa...I think there is a lot of potential for her character....
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To be honest, I feel this is like stating Bran is "hated" because he doesn't generate a lot of buzz or that Rickon is "despicable" only because he's not a big player.

Sansa simply isn't interesting, that's all.

It hasn't changed because of the guy she was married to, the girl she's related to or the people she has been living amongst, and its perfectly alright: the world needs Gillys and Hodors and Sansas too.
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I love the book and the Tv show. ..and well I don't hate Sansa, but she is STUPID and people using her age as an excuse is ridiculous they are ALL very young. That being said she is very, very, slowly growing and evolving into a player of the game. She has her own quite strength. I think she deserves more patience. Still no getting around how horrible she is and she went against her family more than once which is very clear in the books. She was definitely more of an uptight fairy tale loving want to be princess Tulley than she was a Stark. I have hope for her still.

I am holding out hope for you Sansa you have suffered enough my pretty stupid girl!!!!
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I'm a bit iffy on using her age as an excuse as well, which is why I avoided doing that as much as I could.
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I feel like her age is the only excuse. Do you remember how shallow and immature and in constant need of approval by your peers you were when you were 14? No, I bet you like most girls(if you are a girl, sorry :)) thought you were awesome. Its not until you get older and more mature and learn some hard lessons that you realize how awful you used to be. If Sansa was 18 instead of 14 I would definitely hate her.

If I had to encounter my 14year old self right now I would probaly punch her oyt of annoyance.
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I am surprised by your 4th reason, by then she knew that Joffrey and the Queen were at the very least not so kind she had no business reporting anything to them. They had already showed her pretty much who they were. Of course sweet silly slow Ned would still be dead he didn't know how to play the game, but she was 150% wrong. He did not need to give her a list! She knew he was attacked, knew about that Kings Road debacle she knew enough by then. Then again maybe she blocked it all out since she only seem to blame Arya.
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I did go a bit overboard with that I have to admit. She should be held accountable for disobeying his father but I really doubt that there's anything else to it. Makes her dislikeable, doesn't really "doom" Ned to death and in no way should be enough for the hate she has gotten.

Your reasoning that Sansa blocked the negative feelings for Cersei and Joffrey because of Arya is most likely correct (and let's face it: Sansa's naivety was destroyed after her father died, not before it. And I don't know if you have read the first book but... Oh my god, such a see-saw personality. She's extremely bratty in one chapter, and in the next she is intuitive, empathetic, smart and feels sorry for the Hound and roots for him in the tourney after hearing his story... IS this supposed to be hormones or did GRRM just purposefully write her in an inconsistent manner?).

In Sansa's eyes, it was Arya who started the whole debacle at the King's Road. Arya attacked Joffrey, got Lady killed and drove a wedge between Sansa and the "charming prince" that is known as Joffrey. And well..

But yeah... She's evolving... Slowly. I didn't like her in the first season one bit to be honest but watching her parts on the show provided the best moments of the show for me; Joffrey showing Ned's head to her and her not showing the pain it causes just to spite him. Joffrey beating her in the middle of the court and Tyrion interrupting, Sansa manipulating Joffrey to keep Dontos alive was fun, Sansa comforting the women during the Blackwater episode. Not 'thrilling' in the traditional sense of the word but I enjoyed those moments immensely. And to be honest... The scene where to mob pins her down to the ground almost got me nauseous. And even though I did let my opinions color this article, I'd still be the first to admit that this character has done some impressingly bad decisions and is deeply flawed. I just think that the fandom tends to judge her decisions way too harshly.

Oh god... This got long. Sorry.
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We agree on much and I think he wrote her that way...look at how much hate she gets when compared to the more truly horrible characters. It's like he is saying lets see how harsh you will be to this mostly nice, but misguided young women. She is not worthy of the hate she receives.
It took me a while to come to that conclusion and realize she has a different kind of strength ;o)
It did annoy me how quickly she fell for the Tyrell scam she should have known better by then she had already learned so many harsh lessons. Still as a book reader I have allot of hope for her!
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I don't hate Sansa but everyone who uses the excuse that she is a kid is being ridiculous both Arya, Bran, and the Reed siblings are younger than Sansa and they all had the capability of thinking logically. If my father tells me that he thinks someone tried to kill my brother no way in hell would I turn around and betray him like she did. Granted after season 1 she got better probably because she realized that she was an idiot. She had to change or she would die.
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Yeah. If your father tells that the family you are to be married to plotted to kill your little brother, you wouldn't betray your father. Shame that Ned decided to be an asshat and said "Nope, we're leaving King's Landing, you can marry someone else", instead of... You know... Telling that the Lannisters tried to kill Bran and killed Jon Arryn.
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All of them in the beginning even Robb, Dany, Jon all of them are about 13-15...so yeah her age ad excuse is a NO GO for me. She has some understandable reasons that's not one!!!!

Truthful I place some blame on the parents for not teaching them all what people outside Winterfell are like.
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But you have to see that she is a young teenage girl. You can't really compare her to her teenage brothers or her what, 11/12? year old sister. Teenagers are notoriously terrible.
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i don't think the 1 or 2 years she has on them contribute to her lack of intelligence if anything they should be worse than her not better
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very true they raised her to be completely brainless
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"All of them in the beginning even Robb, Dany, Jon all of them are about 13-15..."

This may be true about the book, but she's the ONLY one of them who fits that description in the show. All the others have been rewritten as older characters, and are played by actors who are 8-9 years older than Sophie Turner. But Sansa says on the show that she's 14. (I don't remember when that was exactly, probably season 2).
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Bran? Arya? no, even in the show she isn't the only young one.
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I began watching the show, and soon entered in the marvellous world of the books... In the beginning I didn't hate Sansa, she never was like Lory in Walking Dead, for example, lol.... I saw her as a result of her mother ways, she is Catlin's offspring, and saying this is a compliment. She is passive, but is strong and has great sense of justice, so she will survive, and bring the name of the two families she represents back to the top again. Of curse I love Arya, she is the most courageous little girl, but going to the path she is going, the path of vengeance, she wont be a Stark any more.
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sansa is the prom queen of GOT, if thinghs werent so bad she wouldnt be the goood girl everyone thinks she is, TBH she seemed very wild back in Winterfell in the very first episode of the series, so shes not so innocent as people think, maybe she didnt have an opportunity to kill ahahaha

and she willl believe me and im not spoiling because i didnt read any book (yeah blame me) but i think shes capable of killing at least by using poison i suppose kkkkkkkkkkkk
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Sigh. I wanted to write an impassioned defence of Sansa like I've done before but realised I can no longer recall exactly what was left out in S1 and what non-book readers might not know e.g. blabbing to Cersei about Ned's plan in S1.. I seem to recall that unfolding slightly differently in the show than it did the books. Unfortunately, I've seen the show once and read the books multiple times so all I can see in my head is the GRRM version.

Basically, this post is ultimately pointless and contributes nothing to the conversation except to throw another voice behind the pro-Sansa brigade. Solidarity!
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But if my intention was to throw another voice behind the pro-Sansa brigade, this post isn't ultimately pointless.
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It was clear that I meant my post was pointless though, right? Good. Just checking.
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Oh... Now I actually understood that line.... Sorry if I sounded rude or anything. I'd say I'm good at English but at times there are misunderstandings like this :)

But well! Now that I understood your comment's last line, I'd still say the same comment! Nothing is pointless if it gets the job done.
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Touché.
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This is an adult show, so why are you watching this with your kids?
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1. Was that at me?
2. Who is watching this show with their kids?
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Also, Sansa is a kid. Unless everyone who hated Sansa was completely perfect and awesome and strong and amazing when they were 11/13, no one has any right to place judgment on her for her actions. Yes, she was "bratty, idiotic, shallow and spoiled". What privileged preteen girl isn't? But what makes Sansa so awesome is that out of all the characters in GoT, I think she's the one who has developed and grown the most. Honestly, seeing where she was in Season 1 versus Season 3, I am so proud of her, and I'm sure her mother would be, too.

Thanks so much for this awesome post Arska. I'm also sick of all the unreasonable Sansa bashing, and it's nice to see a favorable post on her. :)
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