manchester_babe

Why do people hate Sansa?

165 posts in this topic

So my personal opinion is that Sansa has always been the "perfect child" in the eyes of her mother, and I believe that the pity readers feel for Arya sort of clouds their view of Sansa. Besides she wasn't really a main character for awhile and was sort of annoying. So that's my personal opinion, probably doesn't shed much light on the situation.

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I don’t hate any of the ASOIAF characters. Hate is a harsh word. This topic is old.

Little girl Sansa is selfish and naïve, much like her sister Arya except in a different way. They lived in a Lords home with no idea what awaited them outside of WF. Much like Eddard did not know the wheeling and dealings of KL.

The Stark girls are children. Ten to 13 years of age. They are not Massie or Sophie.

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I've actually always liked her. I suspect a lot of people blamed her for what happened to Ned in AGoT or at least saw her as the catalyst that started the chain of events. I was pretty annoyed at her for ratting out the plan the way she did but no one could have predicted it ending the way it did. Plus, Ned really was blundering along that something would have gone wrong.

I suspect that's the root of some of it. That and her personality can probably irritate people, I suppose. I do think people can be quite harsh on her.

Edited by Faera

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Maybe some do because she shared valuable info with Cersei in AGoT and hurt her family's cause. And falling for Joffrey. 

I pity her, she is in a very, very bad situation practically all the time. 

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Short answer, people are biased against her from her actions in AGOT (acting mean toward Arya, lying about the Joffrey incident, and playing her part in getting Ned killed), and lots of readers (especially the male readers which I suspect is a large majority of the fandom) have a difficult time seeing things through the eyes of a young girl, especially when her younger sister is such a badass. I personally fell into this trap and initially disliked Sansa a lot, but on subsequent rereads I have become much more sympathetic toward her.

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47 minutes ago, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Short answer, people are biased against her from her actions in AGOT (acting mean toward Arya, lying about the Joffrey incident, and playing her part in getting Ned killed), and lots of readers (especially the male readers which I suspect is a large majority of the fandom) have a difficult time seeing things through the eyes of a young girl, especially when her younger sister is such a badass. I personally fell into this trap and initially disliked Sansa a lot, but on subsequent rereads I have become much more sympathetic toward her.

Yah, it's easy to overlook and even dislike Sansa for so much.    And she's pretty whiny to start with, but given time and careful reading Sansa is as important as any Stark in this story.   

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Bullying Arya wasn't the best thing to do. Neither was running to Cersei. 

Edited by Angel Eyes

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She has been a more passive character than most POVs, many people find that more boring. She still blamed Arya for everything going wrong even after Joff showed his hand as an above the norm asshole.

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I don't hate her at all. I just don't like her character but I do find her story arc rather intriguing in the books. I can't stand Sansa in the show though, and that's on the writers obviously. She's one of the most inconsistent characters and a total brat till the end. On the other hand, I am curious about her in the books though. Still not love from me but she is rather more complex and interesting, it would seem. 

Edited by Caterina Sforza
deleting show spoilers.

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1 hour ago, Faera said:

I've actually always liked her. I suspect a lot of people blamed her for what happened to Ned in AGoT or at least saw her as the catalyst that started the chain of events. 

That's silly. She had nothing to do with that, obviously.

The main reason I don't like her is cause she has taken a lot from Cat, and it's difficult for me to relate with her character cause I personally was never like her. I certainly understand her but I can't relate with her like I can with Arya, for example. I was much more like her when at her age. 

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8 minutes ago, Ethelarion said:

Could you please delete your show spoilers and discussion @Caterina Sforza  

what show spoilers?

 

Edit: I had no idea that was a show spoiler but hope the editing is okay now?

Edited by Caterina Sforza

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I liked and like Sansa but I suspect that many people holds Tomboys to be better in some fashion than girly and so they are predisposed to magnify Sansa's bad acts and flaws and turn a blind  eye to her good acts and qualities, and the reversed for Arya. Its kind of the same with many other characters view favorably or unfavorably by fans.

And please note that I don't for a second think that I'm some perfect person. But I do hope that my awerness of these issues allowes me to get a better grasp on characters than if I wasn't aware of this.

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I loathed her character in AGoT and ACOK but her growth as a character is pretty much the point of her arc. She and Jaime are my two favorite characters. She's an awful, immature, unrelatable 12 year old girl who basically gets her dad killed in AGoT. Simple as that

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Sansa has always suffered in comparisons with Arya. First, there's the whole "mean girl" dynamic with Sansa and Jeyne picking on Arya, which often caused Arya to go off to cry. Then Sansa seizing with both dainty fists the news that she will eventually be The Queen and everyone, especially her unsatisfactory little sister, will need to kneel before her and call her "your grace." The inside-Sansa's-head chapters paint an unflattering picture of a selfish, self obsessed, snobbish little twit. Of course, she'd only 10 years old  in the beginning.

Arya, in contrast, evokes an interest in all aspects of the world, particularly the man's side of it. She talks with anyone, regardless of their social class. As the story goes on and Ned is executed, Arya's life becomes one of unbelievable hardship which she manages to weather. Sleeping in alleyways, traveling incognito as a boy, watching torture, being beaten, working hard as the lowliest stair-scrubbing servant, leading the escape with her Night's Watch friends. Through it all, Arya takes on the active role, generally the leadership role, and works to protect all of her little band, not to mention various other innocents. And she was just 8!

Then there's Sansa, living in luxury in the Red Keep, with servants tending to her every need, never going hungry except when her "tummy" is too "tender". She falls easily into the role of "battered wife", never working to escape or make her plight known to anyone who might help her. She thinks a lady's armor is her passivity. Amazingly (to me), a lot of readers really like this.

Sansa would have come across better, in my opinion, had Arya not been her sister. Sansa really is the perfect "Sleeping Beauty" disney princess type. Waiting for her white knight to come riding up in his shining armor and save her, then living happily ever after. It's one of George RR's cruel jokes that innocent, beautiful, high-bred princesses may not automatically come out on top.

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Audiences in general tend to root for competence, technique, and courage, and root against incompetence, cheating, and unfair advantages. This is the classic "face" vs. "heel" conflict in wrestling - either the underdog or the triumphant hero who has superior skill beating the mean cheater who is a bigger, stronger freak of nature.

Loyalty plays into this as well. Faces tend to be loyal to their friends, until their friends double-cross them. Heels tend to show no loyalty at all.

So, Sansa has two problems in terms of being likeable:

  1. She is not competent. She has very few skills of her own to do relevant things in the world. This is because she is a child, but it compared unfavorably with her siblings who often have supernatural/unrealistic capability at things like combat, magic or leadership. This is why people hope so much that Sansa is learning from Littlefinger how to play politics and will someday be really good at it - though she's not there yet.
  2. Sansa never gets her revenge on Joffrey. At least, not yet. She offers him a ton of loyalty, and he betrays her for it, multiple times. If she were a face character, she would realize her loyalty was in the wrong place, and she'd get right with her loyalty - by picking the right side and getting on it. Interestingly, this is what people think Sansa has done, when they think she has teamed up with Tyrion to kill Joffrey. It's what people would expect from her. But this is a case where the expected narrative has been confounded a bit, and Sansa has, more realistically, focused on what she needs to do to survive rather than getting right with where she stands with respect to the white hats and black hats.

I think these are features, rather than bugs, and I think a lot of people who intuit that these things might change later in the story for good reason. But for now, Sansa is straight-up not likeable on purpose.

And it shows that whether someone is likeable or not, especially on a mass scale, often has not much to do with the reality of their situation. To the common people, as we see time and again, Joffrey was likeable - the beautiful blonde boy king who took bold action to execute traitors, with all this potential, poisoned by his evil uncle. The gap between perception and reality is huge.

I suspect this is at work on almost all levels in the story, especially with respect to Azor Ahai and the larger-scale narrative of the Others and R'hllor and all that stuff - villains and heroes not really matching up 1 to 1 with good and bad.

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I'm not a Sansa fan by any means, but I don't dislike her. She was naive and a bit silly in the beginning. But most people are at that age.

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2 hours ago, GyantSpyder said:

Audiences in general tend to root for competence, technique, and courage, and root against incompetence, cheating, and unfair advantages. This is the classic "face" vs. "heel" conflict in wrestling

This is cool! Analyzing Sansa's role in terms of pro (aka scripted) wrestling! Your points are good; Sansa's not particularly competent at anything other than doing as told (even her daring escape was set up and scheduled for her) and looking pretty and/or pouty. As for revenge, we have yet to see Book Sansa express any thoughts, desires, or need for revenge. Frankly, it's weird. This doesn't seem to be a matter of her goodness or unselfishness - the girl is almost totally wrapped up in herself. It's as if revenge is not a concept that she's ever heard of, as applied to beautiful princesses.

That said, I really liked the part in A Feast for Crows where Arya, as Cat of the Canals, hears Dareon the Night's Watch brother singing:

Quote

He is a man of the Night's Watch, she thought, as he sang about some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead. The lady should go kill the ones who killed her prince.

Talk about subverting the classic storyline! It once again emphasizes how the contrast between Arya and Sansa has not benefited Sansa's portrayal.

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4 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

She's an awful, immature, unrelatable 12 year old girl who basically gets her dad killed in AGoT. Simple as that

As I said, I have no love for her but this is unfair, IMO. She was not the reason why Ned was killed. Nobody could prevent that and Joffrey would've killed him no matter what.

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