Yes. Sansa. The irritating whiner who kicked off the domino effect that started pretty much all the pain in Westeros by lying to King Robert in Season One? The one who basically got her own father killed?
The Lamest Stark™ is a much better, much cooler character than Queen Daenerys Targaryen, Khaleesi, Stormborn, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, The Haver of Nicknames, who has been smashing and burning that glass ceiling since her brother got his very snug golden crown fitted?
Yeah. And it’s not close. Let’s break it down.
Every single positive step Khaleesi has taken in the entire series has been because of Magic or Dragons or Both. None of her political or leadership decisions made without the aid of dragons or magic have worked. None. In fact, they’ve all backfired amazingly.
She trusts a woman who basically kills her husband. Hmmm. Bad start. It also costs her their unborn baby. Then she nearly kills the Dothraki Horde she inherits and nearly gets herself killed in Qarth… Good thing she has her magical dragons! They save the day.
Note: Dragons saving the day will be a recurring theme for The Mother of ‘Deus Ex Machina‘
She obtains an army purely because she has dragons(!). She obtains a second army purely because her lover Daario Naharis does the dirty work of killing other commanders of the Second Sons, and not on her command either, so she gets no credit.
She frees slaves and crucifies masters in Slavers Bay, giving rise to the Sons of the Harpy. This leaves the city she “frees” gripped by fear and violence. She locks away two of her “babies” and just straight-up loses the third.
She closes the fighting pits then opens them again after closing them proves to be disastrous. She survives an attempted assassination because… yep, you guessed it, because she has dragons.
So at various stages, our beloved Khaleesi has commanded a Dothraki Horde and an entire army of perfectly obedient super-soldiers while also having three unstoppable killing machines that breathe fire at her disposal.
And she lost it all. All of them. She was completely lost, and rescued by Mormont and Daario and her magic and (AGAIN!?) her dragons.
The city she abandoned to violence and chaos was temporarily saved by Tyrion, only to once again be under attack from the pissed-off-by-Khaleesi masters.
However will she get back there to re-enter the fray?
Oh. Right. Dragons again. Sorry.
Look, I get it. I loathed Sansa as well. We all did. Her adorable little crush on oh-come-on-he’s-so-obviously-a-toolbag Joffrey and her betrayal of her more-awesome sister basically caused all of the pain and agony and torture we’ve seen in Game of Thrones.
She was awful. She whinged nonstop, cried for a season or two, and by the time she’d finally realised Joffrey wasn’t her Prince Charming, we were only asked to feel sorry for the girl. Beaten, emotionally abused, teased and then humiliated with a marriage to Tyrion.
She was engaged to Joffrey, she was married to Tyrion, and she was married to possibly the worst human ever conceived, Ramsey Bolton.
We know well the evil she’s been through. She has been both a bystander to tragedy, and a direct victim of it.
And Sansa still stands. Only now, Sansa stands ready to become a player in the Game of Thrones. She is not passive. She is not a victim. Not any more.
Sansa is negotiating. Commanding allegiance. She’s writing letters to Blackfish and to someone else (my money’s on Littlefinger/The Vale). She’s standing tall and proud as a Stark. She is an active participant.
Littlefinger described chaos as a ladder, and Sansa exemplifies that better than anyone. Watch this scene with Sansa in mind…
Back then, Littlefinger’s assertion that Sansa was ‘clinging to the realm’ is pretty accurate. But she’s let go of that version of herself.
She studied at the School of Littlefinger better than he possibly could have imagined, because she is climbing the ladder and her objectives are not clear. Who is she writing to? Why did she lie to Jon Snow? Every interaction she ever had with Littlefinger takes on new meaning when you realise what Sansa has become:
She is Littlefinger, but with a more powerful name and a moral compass.
SO WHY IS SANSA BETTER?
Khaleesi has spent SIX. LONG. BORING. SEASONS. Monumentally screwing up every decision entrusted to her. For all the vast resources at her disposal and experienced advisors at her side, as of this moment her base of power is under siege by Masters who want her dead. I’m guessing she’ll escape, of course, and it will be her dragons that make the difference, because she is seemingly incapable of making any progress as a character without magic or dragons.
Meanwhile, Sansa has spent six seasons paying the price of one bad decision she made as a little girl. She has been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused in ways Khaleesi can’t even imagine. She has been betrayed constantly. She has been overlooked and passed around like a trading chip because of her last name.
And she has evolved. She has adapted and she has survived. And as of this moment she is preparing to launch a military attack to reclaim her birthright.
She’s had something resembling power for about 3 episodes and she’s already gearing up to fight. Khaleesi’s had vast power for the majority of six seasons and we’re still waiting.
So you can keep your Khaleesi, your Mother of Dragons, your Stormborn, your Breaker of Chains. I’ve got Sansa. I’ve got a Wolf. A Northerner. And she’s ready to play the Game.