I've started this as I was left rather red faced after suggesting on a previous thread that not many men seem to like Sansa as a character,
Now I am a big fan, I'm not blind I know she is not perfect but I don't think Martin is interested in writing about perfect people and if anything it is her imperfections that I like.
I like how normal she is, she is not some badass ass kicking "convention defying" stereotype of the fantasy genre. she carries no weapon instead she wears pretty gowns and speaks politely, no convention defying hi jinx with this lass.
I like that she is traditionally female and is shown as travelling the road to maturity, the coming of age story is as old as the hills and through Sansa we get to read one that involves all aspects of it, not just falling in love, though love and sexuality are big aspects of her ark, they are not the sole reflection of her character, I like that, I like seeing a pretty girl who isn't displaying traditionally male traits who has more to her than just being a love interest. Sansa is on a journey of self discovery. She begins with a neivity which her parents and her society have ensured. Her whole life has been about making her into a good wife. Her sole role in life is to run a castle and produce heirs whilst being charming and attractive. This reflects much of what modern women are also raised with also, we may believe that feminism has altered that but we are wrong, in the majority of households girls are still raised with the expectancy that they will look after a man and place his desires and needs above her own. I didn't really notice to what an extent this is the case until I had a daughter.
Anyhow, Sansa is a normal girl, she wishes to fulfil her parents and her societies expectation for her, just like most children do but the dream starts to sour and Sansa finds herself trapped. Her father is beheaded and she begins to live in a gilded cage. She is abused and in fear for her life. I think part of the point of Sansa is to show us that the pretty princess is a person too, she isn't just an accessory, a prize for the hero. She isn't there just to make someone a nice attractive wife once he has shown himself adept enough to save the kingdom.
We grow up with tales of princesses being given to the man who can kill the monster, rid the king of some trouble etc. I am deeply uncomfortable with the idea of women as prizes.
Yet it is something culturally entrenched in our world from the ancient Greeks to the Japan. I often find when I read traditional tales, no matter which culture they have this story of a pretty maid being given as a reward. Hell have you ever stopped to examine the idea of being given away at a wedding? I did and I decided to walk down the aisle un-accompanied, and it freaked people out.
I can't help but feel Sansa is a subversion of these tales, I feel her story is headed towards a place of self realisation, self empowerment and ultimately choice.
This is why I like her as a character. She subverts the obedient pretty female reward. At least I bloody hope thats where she is headed cos I'll be really pissed off if she isn't!
We've had the female who is a fighter characters for decades now and yes that was and is needed but what does that say about all the women who don't want to take on male traits in order to be seen as valued? what about the women who do want a husband and children, but also feel that they wish to be considered equal and granted autonomy as a matter of course?
Anyway these are my reasons, what are yours?
well some of my reasons I am certain I could write three times as many given time.