There has been a steady divide in the Game of Thrones fandom regarding Sansa Stark, and either fans are indifferent about her, or they absolutely hate her. This is a strange phenomenon that occurs when a fan is asked; they can never provide a plausible reason for doing so. Well, fear not, as this article serves to uncover what exactly it is about Sansa Stark that makes her such a dislikeable character. Of course, she is not the best character in the show, but she certainly is not the worst. So, without further ado, let’s answer why the fanbase so adamantly hates Sansa Stark.
In the first few seasons, and even in the books, Sansa is introduced as a spoilt child who wants nothing more than to marry the prince and move to King’s Landing. And ever since her first on-screen appearance, she has been disliked by many of the show’s viewers. And there have been various debates and discussions surrounding this topic, and a few plausible reasons have arisen as to why so many people dislike her.
This is true, and who can blame her? She was a child who did not know any better. In her head, marrying Joffrey was every girl’s dream, and she could become queen. Any child her age would fall victim to this idea as it seemed glamorous. However, the show’s viewers failed to look at it from this perspective as the audience was mainly adults who could not relate to this. Sansa just came across as a silly girl who was making a bad decision.
Furthermore, there was her harsh treatment of Ned, which can be attributed to the fact that she was a highborn girl who was blooming into a teenager. It is rare for a teenager not to have an attitude when addressing a parent. And then there were her moments where she did silly things per the request of Cersei and Joffrey, which led to Ned’s death. She was manipulated into assisting them and promised her father would be safe. And while her actions cannot be held against her, it is understandable that Sansa Stark would garner much hate for these choices.
This is another small reason that contributes to her hate. Arya is a fan favourite, and she breaks away from the traditional female character trope one would see within a medieval fantasy. If all the female characters are looked at on the show, the ones who are considered to be ‘badass’ or ‘not like other girls’ are the ones who are more likeable. Sansa, unfortunately, is not a character who is actively taking her fate into her own hands the way Arya does. Arya saves herself each time she is in danger and, in fact, is on her own for a reasonable amount of time with no one she can depend on.
Fans hate that Sansa Stark is a damsel in distress that constantly needs to be rescued by other people. But this is another aspect that adds depth to her character and sets her apart from others. She is relatable, as not many people watch fictional shows to be reminded of real life. And with that in mind, she is also dealing with many of her traumatic events mentally instead of physically. Furthermore, characters like Cersei, Daenerys, Melisandre and Margery have a confident air about them that Sansa only has in the last few seasons. Looking at it through this lens, Sansa seems ‘useless’ or ‘boring’, which is quite harsh considering she does have an impact on the overall storyline. But even when she achieves something, she still gains much hate.
Sansa has made some dumb decisions throughout the show’s runtime. But then again, so have many of the other characters. For example, Jaimie Lannister is forgiven for his harsh treatment of Ned by season 8, but Sansa is not. Similarly, characters like Tywin and Cersei, the proclaimed villains of the show, see more love from the fandom than Sansa. Much of the hate against Sansa Stark is misguided, and she does not deserve the harsh backlash from fans she currently receives.
Jesse Jacobs is a talented writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. With a deep interest in anime and gaming, Jesse brings a fresh perspective to her work as an entertainment journalist.
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