Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Women Play the Game: Sansa Stark

In the series of A Song of Ice and Fire, the men may rule with iron fists, but the women exhibit far greater challenges in the “game of thrones.”  At the beginning of the series, all the women are shown to adhere to gender roles, even Arya is feigning proper lady etiquette.  Sansa is the epitome of what a lady should act like in medieval times.  Whether they attempt to protect their families, gain the throne, or fight for vengeance, the women are the most complex characters.  In the coming weeks, I will be posting about individual women or families in the books/TV series and correlations to historical figures in medieval history.


Sansa Stark was raised by her mother to be a proper lady, as she was.  It was her dream to become a princess and a queen, to be courted by a knight or a prince.  She very much mirrored the life of a young Elizabeth of York, who also wanted to be queen since childhood.  Sansa sees the romance in jousting tournaments and courtly duties and dresses.  She is not respectful of those she sees below her.  In an attempt to save her father’s life and keep her pending marriage to Joffrey Baratheon, Sansa tells Cersei her father’s plans of overthrowing Joffrey, exposing him as an illegitimate child.  In the end, her pleas held no mercy for her father, who admitted his crimes against the throne to save his own life and his daughters’, to see his family grow old, and to not rouse war.