One of Game of Thrones least popular characters is also one of its most interesting
Den of Geek recently ran an article on “Sticking up for the unpopular kids in geek TV’s playground.” Now I don’t think this was a wholly successful effort – it will take an awful lot to convince me Riley isn’t the dullest character in the Buffyverse – but the only reason I wasn’t won over by Juliette Harrisson’s defence of Sansa Stark was that I already agreed with her:
There are two main reasons Sansa Stark is not the most popular character on Game Of Thrones. One is that she plays a traditional female role, and unlike many of the show’s other female characters, she neither uses sexuality to further her own goals, nor does she reject femininity entirely and take on a masculine role. Sansa’s earnest attempt to survive as a relatively innocent young girl who just wants to get married and have babies is not of interest to everyone. But before we all cry sexism, it’s important to mention the other reason many fans hate her; the first thing she does in the series is betray fan-favourite Arya for the sake of universally loathed monster Joffrey, condemning an innocent boy and her own direwolf to death in the process. So why should we give her the time of day?
Well, she’s learned a lot since then – now she imitates her husband and responds to irritating lordlings with a slap. And Sansa has hidden depths. She may not want to pick up a sword, but the look of murder in her eyes as she contemplates shoving Joffrey off the battlements is a thing to behold. Her rebirth in season four may indicate that she will start to use her sexuality more, but honestly, we rather hope not. A woman’s story is not only of interest if she fights or seduces or has dragons; we’re interested in seeing how Sansa negotiates the dangerous world of Game Of Thrones on her own terms.