Sansa Stark, also known as Sansa Lannister, is the eldest daughter and second child of Eddard Stark and his wife Catelyn and second wife to Tyrion Lannister. She is eleven years old when A Game of Thrones begins.

Appearance and Character[edit | edit source]

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.

History[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

A Game of Thrones[edit | edit source]

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.

Sansa talks with Jeyne Poole and Beth Cassel about how handsome Prince Joffrey is during stitching the next day. Arya thinks that Septa Mordane worships Sansa.

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.

Sansa rides out with her betrothed. She and Joffrey come across Arya practicing swords with the butcher's son Mycah, a friend of Arya's. Joffrey orders Mycah to spar with him and draws his sword but Mycah does not want to spar. When Joffrey begins tormenting Mycah, Arya defends her friend and tries to fight Joffrey off. Arya's direwolf Nymeria arrives and defends Arya, disarming and wounding Joffrey. Sansa tries to help with Joffrey's wound, but Joffrey tells her to leave him. Later, when Joffrey lies that Nymeria attacked him unprovoked while Arya protests, trying to tell the truth of what happened, Sansa is called. Reluctant to betray her betrothed, Sansa claims she doesn't remember what happened. Cersei wants Arya's direwolf to be killed but Arya, fearing for Nymeria's life, forced her direwolf to flee earlier that day. It is Sansa's direwolf, Lady, who is killed for the attack in Nymeria's place.

At King's Landing, Sansa thrives. During the Tourney of the Hand, Sansa fantasises constantly about marrying Joffrey and being queen of the Seven Kingdoms; she becomes besotted with the gallant knights, grandiosity, enthralling jousts and the sheer splendour of the event. She becomes even more distant to Arya, even to the point of openly quarrelling with her over what happened on the Kingsroad. Sansa bitterly blames Arya for the death of her precious direwolf, overlooking the fact that her lying for Joffrey was a crucial factor that led up to Lady's demise. However, she soon encounters the menacing Sandor Clegane, the Hound; on one of the nights of the tourney, Sandor confides in her the brutal and nightmarish story of how he was burned, and is utterly scornful of her prim and ladylike nature.

Eventually, her father discovers that Joffrey and his siblings are the products of incest between Ser Jaime Lannister and the queen. He plans on sending his daughters back to Winterfell to protect them from the queen in the quarrel that may come, which horrifies Sansa. Desperate to marry Joffrey, Sansa betrays her father to the queen, in the hopes that Cersei will allow her to stay and be the future queen. However, she plays right into Cersei's hands, and Cersei moves against Eddard Stark, leading to the slaughter of his men and his arrest. Confined to Maegor's Holdfast, Sansa pleads her father's case to Joffrey and his courtiers. Joffrey promises he will be merciful, but instead executes her father before the Sept of Baelor, right in front of her.

Sansa is confined again after the execution; Cersei plans on continuing with Joffrey's marriage to Sansa when she flowers, since then Joffrey can have a son with her. Sansa, only wanting to go home and be safe, is kept as a hostage in the capital, and denounces her father and older brother Robb as traitors to the crown. When Joffrey torments Sansa by showing her Eddard's head, Sansa is sorely tempted to push the young king to his death regardless of what happens to her, but the Hound steps in and thwarts her at the last second.

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