One thing you may not have noticed during this journey though is that Sansa’s hair plays a vital role in defining her story arc.
Here’s a look at her hairstyles in each season, and what they mean:
In Seasons 1 and 2, Sansa goes from having her hair wavy, free, and loose to in tight braids. This symbolizes her confinement in King’s Landing under Cersei and Joffrey’s hold. She was a prisoner in the Red Keep, watching her father decapitated and had very little power at all. The tighter her braids, the less power she had.
In Seasons 3 and 4, Sansa was forced into a marriage with Tyrion Lannister. Her hair is in the tightest braids/up-do possible, showcasing the lack of say she has in her life and her outcome. But, once she escapes King’s Landing with Littlefinger, her tight braids become loose and flowy again—but, her braid is still intact because she’s Littlefinger’s prisoner as of now.
Once Sansa was taken into the Bolton’s hold, her tight updo braids reemerge—specifically the night of her wedding when Ramsey rapes her. Her braids never subside throughout the first six seasons because, from the very start, Sansa has always been under the thumb of a stronger, more powerful man.
In Season 7, Sansa comes back to Winterfell and is home for good, being named the Lady of Winterfell under Jon Snow. However, her hair still showcases some of the braids—knowing that her brother, Jon Snow, is King in the North. He has final say over everything, regardless of her own opinions.
In the series finale of Game of Thrones, Sansa is named Queen of the North. Her hair is loose, down, straight, and without braids. It symbolizes her newfound freedom, no longer confined to a man—or anyone for that matter—and can now make her own, just, fair decisions for herself and her entire city of Winterfell.