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Sansa and Daenerys

by Shanon Marie Norman 5 months ago in review

A Wolf and A Dragon (Comparison/Contrast Analysis)

Before I begin my analysis of two characters I want to admit that I did not read the books that George R.R. Martin wrote. My analysis is based only on my fanship of the H.B.O. show "Game of Thrones". I was obsessed with the show and had all of the DVDs in my personal collection. I thought the dialogue was brilliant and always looked for wisdom from all of the characters that Martin introduced us to in this epic.

Two characters are on my mind at this time as I consider female options in a 2021 America based on my own understanding and experience. I am thinking about Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. I think that as viewers we did not see how similar these two characters truly are. Their choices and their paths appeared to be so different. I know the first few times I watched I cheered for Daenerys (the Freer of Slaves) and I prayed for Sansa (the little girl running from danger). Yet in the end, it was Sansa who survived, not Daenerys. I find that to be the most interesting part of this comparison.

When we meet these two ladies they are very much alike. They both come from powerful and loving families. They are both beautiful. They both want to be loved and don't really think they would be so lucky to as to gain a Queen's title. They are happy and safe. Then things change. Sansa is up to marry Joffrey. Daenerys is up to marry Khal Drogo. This is when we see some differences between the two young ladies. Sansa is excited, already fantasizing about how lovely it will be with Joffrey, making babies, and being Queen. Daenerys is terrified. She doesn't want to leave her comfortable home and go off with some monstrous stranger of a different culture. I think Martin employs the technique of "Reversal of Expectations" in this part of the story. Sansa discovers Joffrey's dark side, while Daenerys discovers Khal Drogo's loving side. Sadly, they both suffer broken hearts from their first arrangement. Sansa is married to Tyrion instead, and although she's disappointed, she finds his kindness comforting. Daenerys is widowed, and sent to the Widow's place within the Dothroki tribe. These heathens or barbarians underestimate her lineage threatening her with rape and other tortures, and she burns them all. When Tyrion is accused of Joffrey's murder, Sansa escapes certain doom because of Littlefinger's loyal love to her mother. Again, both women survive at that point due to their bloodline. Littlefinger delivers Sansa to her next husband, Ramsay Bolton. This is a very interesting part of the comparison between the two women. The audience cries for Sansa and hates Ramsay while they cheer for Daenerys and hail her the true Queen of the Seven Kingdoms because she can make it out of a fire and because she has three loyal dragons whom everybody is afraid of. While the audience is crying for Sansa and cheering on the hopeful Queen, they are condemning Ramsay, forgetting how they loved Khal Drogo. Ramsay was no better or worse than Drogo. The only reason you love Drogo is because Daenerys loved him. The only reason Daenerys loved him, is because a whore taught her how to. Sansa did not have this education. She could not love Ramsay. She was terrified and having Theon there reminding her of her past and how she thought things were going to be didn't help any. If Sansa had been able to love Ramsay the way Daenerys had loved Drogo, then things might have gone differently at the Boltons. Maybe little Rickon wouldn't have had to die at the Battle of the Bastards. Sansa told her brother Jon Snow, that Rickon was already dead and that she knew there would be no way for them to save him from Ramsay. She was right, but Jon didn't want to believe it. Because Jon didn't believe it, they almost all died at that battle. Again, Littlefinger came to the rescue.

Toward the end of the saga, we have Daenerys in love with Jon Snow, and most of the audience is hoping or thinking they will become the King and Queen and all will be happy and great. We also have the reunion of the two Stark sisters (Sansa and Arya) and their brother Brandon. Again Martin employs the "Reversal of Expectations" technique. Why did Sansa order Arya to kill Littlefinger? Why did Jon kill Daenerys? Was it not odd that Sansa felt no loyalty to Littlefinger even though he rescued her twice? Was it not strange that Jon could stab the woman he claimed to "love" in the back just as he had been stabbed in the back? How could they do that? I'm not really sure why Jon decided to kill Daenerys, but my opinion would be that in the end his loyalty was to his sisters more than to his lover or would-be Queen. I'm not sure why Sansa didn't spare Littlefinger's life in gratitude, but my opinion is that she didn't want to be influenced by anyone whom she couldn't completely trust.

In the beginning both Sansa and Daenerys were just innocent and frightened little girls. But in the end, Sansa played the game better than Daenerys.


Shanon Marie Norman

I am a graduate of USF with a degree in English Education. I worked in the food industry, office, and as a teacher. I'm now disabled and on a fixed income.


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