Sansa Stark, also known as Sansa Lannister and Alayne Stone, is the eldest daughter and second child of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn and second wife to Tyrion Lannister. She has three brothers: Robb, Bran and Rickon; a younger sister: Arya; and a half-brother: Jon Snow. Sansa Stark is one of the major POV characters in the books. She is eleven years old when A Game of Thrones begins.
Appearance and Character
Sansa has a feminine and graceful demeanor in contrast with her younger sister Arya, who has tomboy features. Sansa is very beautiful, with the thick auburn hair and blue eyes that are characteristic of members of her mother's family, House Tully. Catelyn believes that Sansa will be more beautiful than herself when she is grown, and multiple characters comment on how beautiful she looks, with Littlefinger, in particular, stating that she looks quite like her mother in her youth.
A courteous and dreamy young girl, Sansa was better known for her aspirations to become a great lady and to marry a handsome prince. Sansa loves music, dancing and lemon cakes. She used to believe that life could be like a song, with the existence of brave heroes and beautiful maids. When King Robert comes to Winterfell and arranges a marriage between her and his alleged son Joffrey, Sansa is overjoyed and becomes deeply infatuated with him, blind to the unpleasant behavior of her betrothed (at this point in time, Jeoffry was still generally quite courteous around her). However, even prior to her fathers imprisonment, Sansa was not totally blind to Jeoffry's violent behavior, mentally noting that "Jeoffry was fond of hunting, particularly the killing part". even so, her naïveté initially prevents her from recognizing the dangers around her when she is in King's Landing. Because Sansa is so young with a gentle and innocent demeanor, she is viewed as easily exploitable by the political players in Westeros.
Throughout her experiences during the War of the Five Kings, Sansa has impressively started to shed the delusions she craved before coming to King's Landing. She is capable of realizing how naïve she was, and how naïve others who used to be like her are. Traumatic events throughout her captivity, including being tormented by Joffrey, bullied by Cersei, menaced by the Hound, haunted by the War and driven to desperation by hopes of going home, Sansa has actually become a little cleverer and a little more shrewd. She still maintains some of her innocence, but not to the same degree as the Sansa Stark who left Winterfell so long ago.
A Game of Thrones
Sansa is given her direwolf after her brothers Robb Stark and Jon Snow find a litter of six direwolf pups, one for each of the children of the Stark family. Jon and her younger brother Bran Stark convince their father Eddard to keep the pups. Sansa names her pup 'Lady' and she is the smallest and sweetest of the litter. Later, when the royal retinue arrives, Sansa escorts Prince Joffrey Baratheon to the welcoming feast that night.
During the journey to King's Landing, Sansa is introduced to Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Renly Baratheon, and, lastly, Ser Ilyn Payne. Sansa thinks Ilyn to be even more frightening than Sandor Clegane. The same day, Sansa goes out riding with Prince Joffrey, her betrothed. After a day of adventure, they upon Arya, playing at swordfighting with her lowborb friend, Mycah, the butcher's boy. Joffrey torments Mycah, leading to Arya lashing out, and Nymeria, Arya's direwolf, attacking the prince. He then angrily pushes Sansa away when she tries to comfort him.
Three days later, when Arya is recovered, their father hopes to use Sansa as a witness, validating her account of events over Joffrey's. However Sansa, not wanting to upset her betrothed, lies, and claims she does not remember. As a result, King Robert I Baratheon agrees that a direwolf should be executed. In Nymeria's place, Lady is instead sentenced, much to Sansa's upset. The deed was carried out by Sansa's father. She still mourns for her direwolf when they reach King's Landing.
Sansa and Jeyne attend the Hand's Tourney with Septa Mordane, and enjoy the pageantry of the event. Whilst Jeyne reacts negatively at the death of Ser Hugh of the Vale, Sansa finds herself emotionless. She finds herself becoming enamoured with Ser Loras Tyrell, who gifts her a red rose from his cape after defeating Ser Robar Royce in his final joust. She is also introduced to Lord Petyr Baelish, who comments how much like her mother she looks.
At that night's feast, Sansa sits with Prince Joffrey, who feeds her some of the meals, and explains some of Moon Boy's jokes. He grows cold after his mother leaves the feast, however, and commands Sandor to escort her back to the Red Keep. Sandor mocks Sansa on the way back, referring to her as a "little bird", due to her chirping back the responses she has been taught by her septa. He then reveals how he got his burns, and afterwards Sansa feels less scared of him. Despite this, Sandor threatens to kill her if she ever reveals the truth about his burns.