What does it mean to be proud of a fictional character? What does it mean when we not only embrace them, not just follow their progress, but make them a family member as though we knew them intimately, and then not just applaud them, but in the Yiddish parlance of my family, kvell for them?
I have not always been a Sansa fan. Like you, I tended to prefer Arya, Arya who reminds me of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 of Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell (original anime), and of all those hard-core girls who would be men, who can wield weapons and like Coffy who can land a real punch. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Yes, I get it.
And then there was Sansa. Sansa who was like so many of my classmates at Nightingale Bamford School for girls and at other private girls’ schools like it all over the world. Sansa who learned to be high class. She learned languages and ladylike accomplishments. Then everything fell apart and she had to learn how to survive by wits alone. The ability to read faces and desires. The ability – to mostly – keep those desires at bay. Until she couldn’t, and then all she could do was survive. Or try to. GET people to help her. Men mostly.
The writer who puts it best observes:
Then there is this truly fabulous performance:
— mir. (@adamskylo) May 20, 2019
So, Sansa does it. She lives by being pretty good looking and pretty smart, and then it’s just grit and determination and using her brains and her privilege. And luck.
And then – she becomes a leader.
Now — how the hell did all this happen?
Well let’s back up to Terminator 1. Before Sarah Connor develops those muscles. She’s a student who is a waitress. She’s just a girl. She’s just a person.
And so is Sansa. Or to quote her “I’m a slow learner but I do learn.”
Something is being represented here that I – at 65 – related to. That so many other folx who are not white CIS gendered female senior citizens, get. …
Try doing a phrase search on twitter and see what comes up.
This is not to say that most of the finale of GoT wasn’t pretty boring. It was late when I watched. I’d been working a charity event, trying to get people to give money to a cause, and I was drinking wine and eating chips and looking at the death of Danaerys and election of Bran, kind of going “meh.” But in those final moments of the show when that coronation happens, when those guys with their swords yell “queen of the north,” I raised my arm and made a fist and mouthed – because my husband was sleeping, and I had the head phones on – “the queen of the north.” I cried silently. Tears ran down my face.
Not all of us can fight. Some of us are just too fem, too elderly, differently abled, or we just don’t want to. But what emerges from the very problematic last two seasons of GoT and the entire series with its gratuitous tits and killings spattered throughout (oh my god, that banal sadist Ramsay Bolton… oy, that writing) is the affirmation of Sansa Stark. Our Sansa. And that looking good and being smart by reading the room and studying others and trying to learn how to do this thing called politics, do this thing called power – that’s an important thing.
So, we can take this one positive and we can feel good about it. We can fight on, even though we can’t shoot a gun, or wage a war. We can do politics. We can do power. We can survive. And sometimes, through luck and privilege and the help of others we can do more. We can take care of our people, our community, our country.
Apparently we don’t have to be as brilliant as AOC and Elizabeth Warren. Sansa isn’t. But how interesting that THEY get her too.
The point that our Sansa is making is that perhaps by doing the work, surviving, taking care of others, learning the ability to organize and lead, we can get something done. And yes, rocking the local fashions when necessary. Looking good can be part of the equation.
To see the remarkable images and comments made by Sansa fans, go to twitter and search Sansa Stark.