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TV Sansa vs Book Sansa – Beyond the Wall

Each week, readers Bob and Ivey discuss 'Game of Thrones.' This week we compare book Sansa and TV Sansa, while sniping at each other. Spoilerphobes beware!

Do we really only have one more episode of Game of Thrones left this year? Could it be true? Sadly, it is. This week’s episode featured the big, climactic battle that the whole season has been leading up to. I think the show makers should be proud of themselves for doing a great job, but let’s face it, the internet is sick of talking about it by now. Instead, I would like to talk about a different topic altogether.

As always, as readers of the novels, we hold nothing back. Spoiler haters turn back now!


The Battle of Blackwater was certainly the main focus of Game of Thrones this week, but there was an unexpected star of the episode, in my opinion. Well, there were a few (Hound!), but let’s talk about Sansa. I love TV Sansa. I think she would beat the crap out of book Sansa if the two ever met. Where Sansa in the novels always struck me as a bit weak and whiney, TV Sansa harnesses the power of the whining and turns it into amazing passive aggressive snark. It’s like a super power.

Perhaps some of it has to do with the way I read the character, perhaps some of it has to do with Sophie Turner’s performance. In any case, I’ve really been enjoying Sansa this year. She still has some of the innocence and fear from the book character, but there does seem to be an inner strength inside that I never really got from the novels. With book Sansa it always seemed like things were just happening to her. TV Sansa seems like she is actually capable of making something happen … eventually.


There’s definitely a big difference in the characters from my perspective. This was the moment in the (TV) story where I became a fan of Sansa. While reading the books, that moment didn’t occur until sometime in A Feast For Crows. It is eerie how the two characters can be so similar, yet be so different. The lines that she delivered, specifically with Tyrion and Joffrey were so smart they had the King chasing around his tail trying to figure out what “his lady” just said to him. Tyrion, on the other hand, caught the reference but didn’t mind. He actually realizes the situation she’s in and doesn’t begrudge her a small verbal rebellion every once in a while.

This actually has me looking forward to next season (already). Tyrion is at his best when he has someone who can verbally spar nearly as well as he – just reference the exchange he had with Varys earlier in the episode, especially the quip about weddings. Beginning to raise Sansa to the level she’s at now will make their relationship considerably more interesting once they’re married.


Yeah, it’s definitely going to be fun watching Sansa and Tyrion spend more time together next season. It should make for great television … as long as the writers follow through with it. I was slightly disappointed that we got teased with Ser Dontos at the very beginning of the season, never to see him again. I’m hoping we will get more of the Sansa/Dontos relationship next season. Likewise, I would have loved to have seen a little more of Sansa and The Hound together. Their interactions were some of my favorite parts of A Clash of Kings, and the surface was just scratched on the show. Oh, well, that’s just me nitpicking. You can’t shove everything into ten hours.


I guess that makes one of us that wanted more Sansa/Dontos. In fact, I’m not sure I can remember anyone spending last summer scouring the Internets for clues on who might be cast as the sole remaining knight from the House of Hollard. Because everyone likes the under aged girl hanging out with the creepy drunk guy; that makes for great television.

Unless that creepy drunk guy is a rather put upon former Hand of the King who said under aged girl is forced into marriage with. At that point, it is cool, because of the witty repartee?


Aw, looks like someone is still upset that they had to sit through all that silly fighting when there was talking that could be on screen! Don’t worry, Ivey, the show will return to its regularly scheduled programming soon. Maybe you just missed the nuanced relationship between Sansa and Dontos, two targets of Joffrey’s sadism who tried to help each other out when they could. Is it that their small kindnesses offended you somehow?

Your lack of reading comprehension aside, I feel that we may have deviated from the original topic just a bit. I’ve been very pleased with TV Sansa and I’m looking forward to how the stronger character reacts to what is in her future, whether that be interactions with the like of Tyrion, or later Littlefinger.


Oh, Bob, don’t get so mad. You know I’m right! Other than Tyrion chopping some dude’s leg off – you’ve got to admit, that was pretty damn cool – most of the best parts of “Blackwater” were well away from the action. I don’t care how much money the producers could leech out of the other episodes and HBO, “Blackwater’s” action bits looked like a TV Show compared to a big budget action flick like Lord of the Rings. I thought the episode was great – though I’m not drooling over it like most of the fandom.

But bringing things back to Sansa, as I’m sure you are wont to do, your mention of Ser Dontos does bring up another point. This young woman has so many suitors – real and political – it’s not funny. From Joffrey to Dontos to the Hound, and soon to factor in the likes of Tyrion and Littlefinger, she’s a very popular young lady. With the tweaks that her personality is seeing sooner in the TV story than the source material, it is nice to see a character that fans will feel is more deserving of that appreciation.


I have never, in fact, known you to be right, Ivey.

Photo Credit: HBO

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