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An Open Letter to Game of Thrones' Sansa Stark: You're Better Than This

We're not mad, just disappointed

Kaitlin Thomas

Hey, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner): what gives, girl?

You are making it really difficult to love you and defend you to the haters right now. Everyone told me I was crazy when I attempted to defend you after your ridiculous decision not to tell Jon (Kit Harington) about your communications with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) prior to the Battle of the Bastards. You know, something that potentially could have saved numerous lives. You and Jon agreed to work together as a team, and everyone seemed to be on the same page. It was great! But now you've gone and mucked things up again by attempting to undermine the King in the North in front of his bannermen. Unacceptable, girlfriend.

I know you said you learned a lot from Cersei (Lena Headey) -- and we're definitely going to talk about that later, because I am concerned -- but do you really think she would air her business in front of her constituents? Do you really believe it is good to disagree with Jon in public after everything that's happened? These disagreements are something you hammer out in Slack prior to the team meeting so your leader doesn't look weak in front of his people!

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Now, it's not like I don't understand your point of view, or think you should never question Jon's decisions. You raised important questions about how the North should deal with people who commit treason, versus how it rewards others for their loyalty. But by doing this in front of everyone, you undermine Jon's strengths as a leader. He cannot be an effective and respected ruler if it appears that his family doesn't even support him. That is Politics 101! By questioning Jon's decisions, you've essentially opened the door and hung a welcome banner for possible dissenters. More instability is the last thing the North needs as it prepares to be the main line of defense in the coming White Walker war.

What's worse is, you're playing right into Littlefinger's hands and he doesn't even have to manipulate you. You're doing all the work on your own. You and I both know that you are too good and too smart for that smarmy jacka--, so don't give him the satisfaction of seeing you and Jon fight or disagree. He may get off on it, but watching you two argue over whether or not a son should die for his father's sins was the equivalent of mommy and daddy fighting at the dinner table and us kids having to quietly eat our vegetables like nothing awkward was happening. Guess what? It was totally awkward -- you can ask Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) if you don't believe me -- considering all of Jon's daddy issues.


Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones


OK, so now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to address a couple more things that came up in "Dragonstone." First, you expressed that you were worried Jon might meet the same fate as your father Ned (Sean Bean) and brother Robb (Richard Madden) if he doesn't make smarter decisions as king. This is a valid fear given how little it means to be righteous in Westeros; despite everything he's done, Jon is still the most noble and pure being on the show at this point.

But urging him to learn from Ned's and Robb's mistakes with the argument that he should merely listen to you isn't going to cut it. You need to continue to provide potential alternatives to his own thoughts and opinions, because what you're doing is the equivalent of arguing on the basis of "because I said so." And while that may be a charming and underrated Mandy Moore film, it's not an effective strategy for planning or decision making. Furthermore, it does not do to tell Jon you think he is a good leader after comparing him to Joffrey. Joffrey! Do not make me slap you. Luckily, you recognized your mistake immediately.

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Which brings me to Cersei. I understand what you meant when you said you learned a lot from her, but she also seized control of the Iron Throne by blowing up a city block with Wildfire and murdering (at least some) innocent people in the process. Not only are you a much better person than Cersei, but it's pretty clear at this point she's not going to survive this. She's created more enemies than friends, and if I'm right, her most constant ally -- her twin brother and lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) -- is probably going to be her downfall. Honestly, the greatest lessons you could take away from your time in King's Landing with Cersei is how not to rule. So as long as we're talking about being smarter than the people who came before you, make sure you include Cersei on the list.

In closing, Sansa, I hope you'll think about what I've written here today. I'm not mad at you, just disappointed by your actions. You can be better than the person you pretended to be this week.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.