Sansa’s luck is running out (season 5, episode 6)
Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones season 5 could have been the most disturbing yet. I am currently in mourning thinking of the fate of my future husband Jorah and his current sidekick Tyrion, who is heading for sale by cock-merchant. The only light relief in episode 6 was Bronn and Jaime’s bromance which looks likely to end very soon.
However, it is Sansa’s fate that is the cruellest of all. It is clear that Lord Baelish never had her best interests at heart when he sold her to Roose Bolton as a daughter-in law. Her engagement to Ramsay Bolton (/Snow) is the third in the series and the worst yet. The only redeeming quality that Ramsay has is to make King Joffrey look desirable. So she is now married to the most sadistic man in Westeros and her luck is running out. As she remarked to her new husband, though she did not want to marry Tyrion, he was at least kind and did not touch her. The same cannot be said for Ramsay, who raped her in front of her sort-of brother Theon/Reek. It was then, more than ever, that Theon should have remembered himself and finally avenged the hurt that Ramsay had caused him.
Though living in King’s Landing was incredibly unpleasant for Sansa, Rebecca Clare, co-author of Game of Thrones on Business suggests that, “In the vicious world of Westeros, where professional development is scarce, the King’s Landing mentoring programme may be [Sansa’s] best chance of survival”. Under Cersei’s guidance, Sansa was being prepared for a marriage of convenience and learnt how to live as a woman in a man’s world.
Of course, arranged marriages are nothing new, you only have to look at a history of the British Royal Family to see that marriage was another tool in their arsenal to ensure political harmony, financial gain and an excellent line of succession. Sansa has been a victim several times over. Now that she is back in her home of Winterfell, she is more vulnerable than ever. Sure, her marriage to Ramsay should, in theory, keep her safe, but it was clear from this episode that Lord Baelish has no qualms about selling her out for his own gain. Little Finger is playing the long game, he is in this for all he can get and has perfectly manoeuvred his pawn Sansa into the Bolton’s hands. What choice did she have but to walk down that aisle?
Only Theon knows that the younger Stark boys are still alive and given that Bran has not appeared in this series yet, I think it’s safe to say that he is not really a threat to taking back Winterfell. Sansa’s other brother, the illegitimate Jon Snow is too preoccupied at The Wall to help out his sister, that is if he even knows she’s alive. Perhaps it would have been better for Sansa if Jon had accepted Stannis’ offer of legitimacy and marched on Winterfell. Only time will tell how Sansa’s story will end, but if the fate of her other family members is anything to go by, she doesn’t have long.
However, Sansa is not naive. In the past four and a half seasons, she has survived some pretty dire situations. She has been mentored by the ultimate matriarch, Cersei Lannister, and is incredibly strong. From the first season, she has been separated from her family, she has had to think for herself. She is a singular unit, a city-state. By all accounts, she should be dead already, but she isn’t. She has a price on her head and is wanted for killing King Joffrey, but yet still she endures. Though her wedding night to her new husband was difficult to watch, we haven’t seen the end of Sansa yet. But, then again, all men must die, so perhaps her end is nigh…