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There are no heroes... In life, the monsters win.
~ Sansa Stark's thoughts

Sansa Stark is a main character and female protagonist of the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series as well as it's HBO TV series adaptation, Game of Thrones. She is the eldest daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Stark. Sansa has five siblings: three trueborn brothers King Robb Stark, Bran and Rickon, a younger sister Arya, and a half-brother Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow (revealed to be her cousin by blood in the television series). Sansa is 11 at the beginning of the book series and 13 at the beginning of the TV series. She is currently 13 in the novels and 19 in the TV series.

History

She is betrothed to Prince Joffrey Baratheon, son of King Robert I Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister, making her the future Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. However, when her father discovers that Joffrey is, in fact, the bastard son born of incest between Cersei and her brother, Ser Jaime, he tries to crown Lord Stannis Baratheon as the new King after Robert's death and is executed in process. This has further negative effects on Sansa, who continues to be tortured by King Joffrey until the end of their betrothal when Sansa is married to his uncle, Tyrion Lannister. After the wedding between Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell, she escapes King's Landing under the protection of Lord Petyr Baelish, relocating in the Vale and pretending to be his bastard daughter, Alayne Stone.

In the TV series, after escaping King's Landing, Sansa is persuaded by Baelish to marry Ramsay Bolton, as the upcoming threat of Stannis Baratheon's attack would free Winterfell from the Boltons' abusive hold. However, after the battle fails, she eventually escapes Winterfell with the aid of Theon Greyjoy and heads to Castle Black, reuniting with her half-brother, Jon Snow. After receiving a threatening letter from Ramsay, Sansa persuades Jon to help her rally the Free Folk, the smaller Northern houses and the remaining Tully forces in a quest to retake Winterfell and save Rickon.

She is portrayed by Sophie Turner, who also portrayed the younger version of Jean Grey.

Personality

Sansa grew up as the eldest daughter of a Great House, trying to emulate her mother's example of a "proper lady" from the southern courts. Her devotion to the traditional "feminine virtues", such as music, poetry, singing, dancing, embroidery, and other traditional feminine activities, eventually causing friction between her and her tomboyish younger sister Arya, with whom she had a sibling rivalry. As a young girl, Sansa naively believed in the tales and epic romances in which every princess gets her honorable knight in shining armor to sweep her off her feet, her biggest dream being to be married to a handsome prince, sitting around with other noblewomen eating lemon cakes while gossiping about the goings-on at court.

However, the reality of the bloody game of thrones, in which her own father had fallen, along with constant torture from Joffrey and his men after Ned's death forced Sansa to realize that life is not like the fairy-tales she used to believe in as a little girl. She is forced to quickly mature and see the hard truths of reality. Further accentuated after the Red Wedding, in which her mother and elder brother were murdered by orders of the Lannisters in their alliance with the Freys.

In the TV show, the numerous crimes and tragedies against herself and her family have darkened Sansa's personality, turning her from a sweet naive girl into a more hardened, disillusioned young woman. Witnessing the ruin of her House had somehow made Sansa more determined to fight back and reunite with her surviving family. After she is finally reunited with a family member, her brother Jon, Sansa persuades him to help her retake Winterfell, the ancient seat of House Stark, from the Boltons. Together, Sansa and Jon successfully retake Winterfell for House Stark.

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