Of any character in Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark has probably had to endure the most hardship. As a result, she’s undergone one of the most dramatic transformations in the series. From being, quite frankly, a spoiled brat in Season 1 to becoming the ice-cold Lady of Winterfell she is today.
Mirroring Sansa’s development in the show, Game of Thrones fans have also grown to appreciate her more and more. If you had asked people who their favorite characters were in Season 1, Sansa probably wouldn’t be too high on many people’s lists. But now, after surviving (and out-living) the likes of Joffrey, Ramsay, and Littlefinger, Sansa has really come into her own as Westerosi politician to be reckoned with, and those who are slow to realize that are going to learn the hard way.
If you can’t handle me at my Sansa in season 1 then you don’t deserve me at my Sansa in season 8.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) April 15, 2019
Sansa’s ex-husband Tyrion foreshadowed all of this back in Season 2 when, after preventing her continued torture in the throne room by Joffrey’s Kingsguard, he asked her whether she wanted to help bring an end to the war. She responded with, “I am loyal to my King, Joffrey. My one true love,” before walking away from Tyrion.
He stopped in his tracks to marvel at her strength and smarts.
In honor of the true Queen of the North, let’s look back at Sansa’s all-time best verbal backhands:
1. The time she shut down her Septa while they were knitting.
Season 1 was certainly peak brat Sansa, before we really had any reason to sympathize with her (aside from her dog being put down.) But bratty Sansa still brought the thunder, most evident when she basically spat in her Septa’s face.
Sansa: Where do you come from, the North or the South?
Septa: I come from a small vill-
Sansa: Oh wait, I just realized, I don’t care.
Hot damn, the disrespect.
2. When she told Joffrey to his face that her brother could kill his dumb ass.
After the execution of Ned Stark, Joffrey brought Sansa out onto the ramparts to show her his head and force her to look at it. He then took it a step further.
Joffrey: After I raise my armies and kill your traitor brother, I’ll give you his head as well.
Sansa: Or maybe he’ll give me yours.
That remark caused Joffrey to make Ser Meryn strike Sansa, but she clearly knew it was totally worth it.
3. When she gave Tyrion her “blessing” before the Battle of Blackwater
We all know Tyrion isn’t a bad guy, but he’s a Lannister and Sansa didn’t have the room in her heart to try and empathize with Lannisters. When Tyrion spoke to Sansa before heading to the battlements, she offered him these well wishes:
Sansa: I will pray for your safe return, my Lord.
Tyrion: Will you?
Sansa: Just as I pray for the King’s.
Go off, Sansa.
4. When she challenged Joffrey’s bravery in the throne room.
Joffrey, the little shit-stain of kingly proportions, began to brag about how he was going to use his sword, “Hearteater” to kill his Uncle Stannis. Sansa had a few questions.
Sansa: So you’ll be in the Vanguard, then?
Joffrey: A- a King does not discuss battle plans with stupid girls.
Sansa: You’re right my Grace, I am stupid. Of course you’ll be in the vanguard. They say my brother Robb always goes where the fighting’s thickest, and he’s only a pretender.
I could watch the look on Joffrey’s face all day.
5. The time she told the Boltons they were in her house.
Fast-forwarding to Season 5 when Sansa really started dropping bombs on people. She just arrived back in Winterfell, disgusted at the prospect of marrying Ramsay, but determined to stay strong. During a particularly tense dinner with Roose Bolton, his wife, and Ramsay, Sansa let them know exactly how she felt.
Lady Bolton: It must be difficult for you, being in a strange place.
Sansa: This isn’t a strange place, this is my home. It’s the people who are strange.
Don’t 👏 F*ck 👏 With 👏 Sansa 👏
6. When she told Ramsay’s girlfriend that she means nothing to her.
Myranda, the twisted lover of equally-twisted Ramsay, immediately had it in for Sansa the moment she arrived at Winterfell, promised to become Ramsay’s wife. She drew a bath for Sansa the evening of the wedding and began dropping horrifying hints at how Ramsay doesn’t like boring girls and what he does to girls he finds boring. Sansa interjected.
Sansa: What was your name again?
Sansa: And how long have you loved him Myranda? …Did you imagine that he would be with you forever, is that it? And I came along and ruined it. I am Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home, and you can’t frighten me.
Tell her, Sansa.
7. The time she reminded Ramsay that everything he had was built on a lie.
As Stannis marched on Winterfell, Ramsay took Sansa out onto the ramparts to brag about his future propositions as Warden of the North. Sansa took the opportunity to bring him a little reality check.
Sansa: But isn’t your step-mother pregnant?
Ramsay: What of it?
Sansa: What happens if she has a boy?
Ramsay: Then I’ll have a baby brother.
Sansa: But he’ll be the heir.
Ramsay: I’m Lord Bolton’s eldest son.
Sansa: But you’re a bastard. A true-born will always have the stronger claim.
Ramsay: I’ve been naturalized by Royal decree from-
Sansa: Tommen Baratheon? Another bastard.
Already, Sansa was affirming herself to be the cleverest person in the room.
8.The time Sansa looked Ramsay in the eye and told him he was going to die.
It wasn’t looking good for Jon & Friends when they met with Ramsay the day before the Battle of the Bastards. Ramsay had more men, a better defensive position, and more time to prepare. He began to offer Jon a raw deal when Sansa, silent before this moment, spoke up.
Ramsay: Now, if you-
Sansa: You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.
Sansa really is the queen of interrupting tiresome men.
9. When Sansa answered the age-old question of, “who let the dogs out?”
It was extremely satisfying to watch Jon Snow punch Ramsay into a bloody pulp. We were all rooting for Jon to kill him then and there. But Jon saved Ramsay for Sansa, who took him to the dog kennels, tied up in a chair and began unlocking the cages. Ramsay denied that his dogs would harm him, but Sansa was in a venomous mood.
Ramsay: My hounds will never harm me.
Sansa: You haven’t fed them in seven days, you said so yourself.
Ramsay: They’re loyal beasts.
Sansa: They were. Now they’re starving.
Cue Ramsay getting ripped to shreds by his own dogs while we all stood and cheered.
10. When Sansa put a stop to Littlefinger’s creepy behavior.
Littlefinger is the lord of being an absolute creep. We had to suffer far too many episodes of his raspy voice breathing inches away from Sansa’s much-younger face, making weird metaphors of how much she was like her mother. Yikes. After the Battle of the Bastards, Littlefinger laid out his master plan to Sansa.
Littlefinger: A picture of me. On the Iron Throne. With you at my side. *leans in for kiss*
Sansa: *pushing him away* It’s a pretty picture.
That’s right, you crooked Mayor from The Wire. Stop trying to date someone more than half your age.
11. When Sansa told Littlefinger his presence was ruining her day.
The ramparts of Winterfell quickly become known as the place where Sansa drops her best one-liners and this scene, in particular, has not one, but two heavy-hitters. Littlefinger was up to his old, annoying self, pestering Sansa and trying to get her to distrust her family and friends.
Littlefinger: Why aren’t you happy? What do you want that you do not have?
Sansa: At the moment, peace and quiet.
12. THEN, she dunked on him so hard they had to kill him at the end of the season.
Sansa then chose to end the conversation with a chef’s kiss of a closure.
Littlefinger: *opens mouth to speak*
Sansa: No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I’ll assume it was something clever.
Apply ointment directly to burn.
13. When she looked back fondly on Joffrey’s assassination.
In Season 8, the reunion of Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister was one many of us were looking forward to, and it did not disappoint. It was clear from Tyrion’s expression that he knew Sansa had grown into the strong, intelligent woman he imagined she would become, but perhaps even he was taken aback by just how strong she was now.
Tyrion: ‘Lady of Winterfell. Has a nice ring to it.
Sansa: So does ‘Hand of the Queen.’ Depending on the Queen, I suppose.
Tyrion: Last time we spoke was at Joffrey’s wedding. Miserable affair.
Sansa: It had its moments.
It certainly did, Sansa. It certainly did. Honestly, can we just fast-forward to the end of the series where Sansa is clearly the one who sits the Iron Throne? It’s what Westeros deserves.
here’s 2 minutes and 19 seconds of sansa being the queen of comebacks pic.twitter.com/IJd3N13ScN
— lauren (@sansastcrk) April 14, 2019