When you think of Game of Thrones and feminism, you probably attribute that word to characters like Arya Stark or Cersei Lannister because neither of them give a damn about what anyone else says, men or otherwise. But what many fail to realize is that Sansa is a strong female character, and the one we should have all been rooting for since day one. Which, if any of us have hearts in our bodies and empathy in our souls, we have been in some way.
Here's the thing about Sansa being low-key the strongest character on the show: She has escaped torture at the hands of both a mad king and psychotic lord, used her wits to basically put the fate of Petyr Baelish in her hands, and I mean, she did bag a Lannister at one point, which is braggable even if it's not entirely well-advised for one's safety. Sansa Stark's story began way back in the first episode of Game of Thrones and while we have seen her endure humiliation, rape, and nearly being thrown through the moon door, she's alive. After five seasons of her family dying off, and of so many other characters meeting their deaths, Sansa has survived. Which lends to my belief that there is much more to Sansa than being a damsel who got lucky a few times.
She may not have the cleavage of Margaery, the unabashed cruelty of Cersei, or the fighting skills of Arya, but Sansa is a feminist and one of the strongest female characters currently milling around the Seven Kingdoms. And as far back as Season One, she's proved that strength and feminism.
1When She Saw Opportunity In King's Landing And Made It Her Mission To Get There
The opportunity may have been about becoming the queen to Joffrey's king (ick), but it was something she had grown up understanding as a strong and powerful position for a woman of her background. This might not be what modern feminist ambition looks like, but it's exactly what it looks like in Sansa's world.
2When She Spoke Up For Her Father, Begging For His Life
For all of her moments of silence in King's Landing, the young and confused Sansa spoke up loudly and bravely for the mercy of her father. Given the audience she was pleading in front of, this was no small feat.
3When She Was Never Afraid To Take Jabs At Joffrey
Major props to her candor with the young, crazy-ass king.
4And Stand Up For Her Brothers
Though standing off for them to fervently or too often would have probably handed her the same fate as poor Eddard, Sansa was able to surreptitiously tell King Joff about her brother Robb's known bravery in the field of battle and later attack Theon for what she thought were the deaths of her younger brothers.
5When She Told Ramsay Bolton Like It Is
True, she endured some of the worst treatment while being held at Winterfell with Ramsay, but she was also quick with the calm insults that came out as if she had no idea what she was saying. But she so knew.
6When She Used Her Sexuality To Get Littlefinger Wrapped Around Her, Uh, Finger
When Sansa expertly convinced the counsel at the Eyrie that Petyr was a good man, we saw her finally playing the game as the others in her world do, and it wasn't a bad look.
7When She Bitch Slapped That Bitch Of A Cousin Of Hers
He was a kid, sure, but he was such an asshole.
8When She Did What She Had To Do To Live
Like marrying Tyrion, a man who was easily twice her age and in love with someone else. And always claiming to be faithful to Joffrey, her "one true love," in order to stay alive.
9When She Was The Only Strong Woman During The Battle Of The Blackwater
I like to think that this was a time when Cersei was actually jealous of the hold Sansa could have over others, simply because she was so kind. And I also like to think that, had Margaery never come along, Sansa would have ended up a similar kind of harsh queen.
10When She Outlived Two Kings During Her Time In The Capital
That's right, two! Of course, she's also outlived the majority of fallen characters, but despite all she had gone through in King's Landing, she still survived after the kings and made it out alive to tell about it.
11When She Was All About Calling Joffrey Out On His Shit
With that emotionless voice and face devoid of expression. And always at the perfect times, when he had to choice but to remain speechless and stupid.
12When She Used Her Femininity To Protect Herself
Sansa was raised to be a feminine, high-born woman, and during her time in King's Landing, she continued to play the part because that would be what helped keep her alive, and she knew it.
13When She Bided Her Time With Ramsay
True to the character of Sansa, she allowed herself to be carried along as she was held at Winterfell, biding her time and all the while working her mind to figure out her next move to get out.
14When She Remained One Of The Only Moral People Left In Westeros
Maybe it's because so much wrong as been done to her, but Sansa is probably one of the only "good" people left, thanks to being a brave would-be queen.
15When She Stood Up For Herself In The Most Badass Way
By standing up to Myranda, Ramsay's equally psychotic girlfriend, when the option was to stay and be tortured or leave on her own terms, Sansa pretty much solidified her permanent awesomeness. She has probably had it worse then any other Game of Thrones character, but somehow she's still alive and kicking and, if the season five finale was any indication, getting more badass and fearless by the episode.