The ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Finally Acknowledges Sansa Stark’s Quiet Brilliance (Column)

Variety | 4/15/2019 | Caroline Framke
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Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 8 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Winterfell”

In between all the requisite hand-wringing over royal allegiances and ice zombie invasions, the eighth and final season premiere of “Game of Thrones” unfurled reunion after teary reunion, topped with the long-awaited moment of Jon Snow learning his true parentage. “Winterfell” even made time for an extended dragon ride through snowy cliffs, whose only real purposes seemed to be romantic glances and showing off the might of the show’s colossal budget. But not even Bran’s stare full of secrets could beat the episode’s most satisfying emotional payoff of all: the explicit acknowledgment that Sansa Stark is one of Westeros’ most impressive politicians and survivors, period.

Truism - Character - Fandom - Girl - Sansa

An unfortunate, time-honored truism is that no character can ignite a fandom’s ugliest instincts more than a flawed teen girl doing her best, and so Sansa has been a controversial character since the very start. She started her journey as a naive teen girl nursing a terrible crush on an even more terrible boy, and paid dearly for it. Her initial insistence on championing Joffrey alienated her from her family and the show’s audience alike, even when her betrothed rewarded that faith by leaving her sobbing, brokenhearted, mere feet away from her beheaded father.

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It’s tempting to say that Sansa started learning how to navigate court politics from this moment on, but looking back, that’s not strictly true. In fact, she did so the minute she saw the writing on the wall for her father. Sansa’s measured pleading for his life as the king’s future wife and the court’s best ambassador for the North, in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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