Jon thought that the new dress that Sansa had made for their betrothal feast was perhaps the most beautiful item of clothing he had ever seen - not that he normally took notice of such things, it’s just this gown was….magnificent - worthy of The Queen In The North, a title she will soon wear.
“Do you like it”? Sansa asked with a hint of unease in her voice as she stood before him, smoothing down her skirts with nervous hands. The dress was in a luxurious midnight blue fabric and was covered in Sansa’s own embroidery depicting a night sky. The dazzling silver thread had been painstakingly manipulated into beautiful stars of all different sizes and constellations. Jon noted that some of the clusters of silver thread had matching glinting beads at the centre of the stars. It truly was a piece of stunning artwork.
“It’s beautiful Sansa” he breathed, genuinely surprised at how much he admired such frivolity. Sansa beamed in response.
It was then that Jon noticed how low the neck line of Sansa’s new gown was - low enough for her chest to press against the top of her corset and for her breathing to be visible by the rise and fall of the tops of her breasts. Trying not to stare at that particular area of Sansa’s anatomy, his eyes dropped to note how her waist was cinched into her corset - tighter than she normally wore it, which only accentuated the swell of her breasts and the curve of her hips. Even her sleeves were unusual for Sansa’s normal northern dresses. Instead of flowing in bountiful fluted fabric, they were snug and stopped midway down her forearms, exposing her delicate pale wrists.
Jon gulped at his sudden salivation. His half-sister-now-cousin truly is beautiful and soon to be his wife.
Their union would be a purely political one - a marriage in name only. Jon had insisted on it. He could not abide the thought of another man taking Sansa away from the only thing she’s claimed to want since finding him at Castle Black - to feel safe at their home, Winterfell. No - this marriage would enable Sansa to feel secure and he would not do anything to put that in jeopardy, despite his own growing wants and feeling towards her.
Sansa’s happiness would always come first, and Jon was sure that having his bastard pawing hands and hungry mouth on her would endanger that happiness. But Jon knew what kind of Lady Sansa is and always has been - eager to please. To always do what was expected of her, without complaint. He could not have that, he would not. It was the reason for his clearly outlined proposal to her. She would be his wife and he would not touch her. She would not be expected to warm his bed and he would not call upon her.
After she had accepted, Jon found his thoughts turn to the fact that Sansa had always wanted to bear children and become a mother. It was this fact that forced his words past his thick regretful tongue when he explicitly explained that Sansa was free to have a lover and that Jon would claim any children she might carry. He still remembers the look of shock and guilt strewn across Sansa’s face. Perhaps she already had a lover in mind?
Looking at her now, lovely and enticing, Jon felt a sudden stab in his gut - not unlike the literal ones he’d received from his Brothers at The Wall. Sansa was presenting herself in a certain way for this feast and it was more than in a regal manner. She was not a stupid woman. She knew what the image of her body wrapped up just so would do to a man.
She’s either dressing this way for her lover or is trying to gain the attentions of one. Jon thinks sadly to himself.
“Lets go then. The Lords and Ladies won’t wait forever” Sansa said in a chirpy tone.
I should like the Lords to wait forever. I should like to be the only man to see you as you are tonight…or any other night.
Sansa turned to leave their adjoining solar and Jon nearly let an involuntary groan escape him. Her hair was piled neatly atop her head with artful twists and braids. Nestled in her tresses were a scattering of glinting star shaped jewels, winking at him. That wasn’t what pained him though - it was the expanse of creamy skin on display - all the way from the soft looking hair at the nape of her neck down past her shoulder blades.
Jon wanted to nose at that hair, to touch, kiss and lick at that flawless skin. He wanted to nip at her neck and shoulder and see what sounds he could coax from her perfect lips. But it would not be his mouth she would want on her, tasting and marking her skin for his own.
“Are you coming”? She called back to him. Jon sighed and practically trudged to the door where Sansa was waiting for him. Sansa looked a little bit amused.
Jon wondered if Sansa was noticing all the longing looks and leering stares that were being thrown her way during the feast. He himself had lost count the amount of times he had had to get a Lord’s attention to pry their eyes from her bosom.
Looking was forgivable. He told himself, for who could not? I had been doing the same.
After the meal was done with, it was time for music, dancing and friendly conversations. Jon was not in the mood for any of those things.
Sansa’s musical laugh carried itself throughout the hall. Drifting up as high as the beams and melting into the stone walls. It drew more than enough young men’s attentions towards her it seemed.
They flocked to her like moths drawn to a flame. She was either always encircled by chattering Lords and Knights or being whisked around in the arms of various men as she smiled gleefully during the dancing.
The flirtatious laughter became too much. The men’s hands that would touch her arm whilst talking animatedly about something or other became too much. The dancing partners shoulders that Sansa would grip as they in turn held her waist as they danced became too much. Her encouraging bright eyes and smile that she gave so freely became too much.
Which one of these men is it to be? Which of them will know my wife as I will not? Will touch her as I will not? Will kiss and hold her as I will not? Will love her as I already do?
Jon stood abruptly and stalked out of the Great Hall without a word to anyone. Lost to his longing and grief.
He wasn’t sure how much later it was that Sansa came looking for him. He’d returned to their solar and was sat at the hearth. The fire spat and he realised that he had perhaps sunk deeper into his cups than he’d thought as his eyes dropped closed.
“Jon”? Her sweet voice called to him from behind his heavy eyelids. He snapped awake and alert when she repeated his name as she grew closer.
“Are you well? Why did you leave”? She asked, placing a concerned hand on his leg.
I’ll receive some touches from you then my love, but not the heated ones I yearn for. Jon contemplated as he stared at her delicate thin fingers.
Jon shook his head to dispel his foolish thoughts before answering.
“I am fine Sansa….perhaps a little too into my cups” he raised his tankard that had somehow managed to stay within his grip while Jon had dozed off in his chair.
Sansa smiled. “Your head will hurt in the morning” she warned with amusement. She leant forward then and gently moved one of Jon’s inky curls away from his eyes.
He felt his breath hitch at her tender gesture and the warmth in her winter blue eyes.
Don’t. Don’t do this to yourself. She’ll not want you, not truly.
“And you? Did you enjoy the feast and dancing”? Jon asked abruptly as he flinched away from her touch and swiftly rose from his seat. Putting some distance between them and his base thoughts.
“….yes….I can’t remember the last time I danced so much” she smiled.
“Aye…you always loved to danced” Jon nodded. “And you were not lacking in keen partners either” he huffed.
The drink is making your tongue loose Snow - stop this and take your leave before you say something else.
Sansa looked at Jon as if she were trying to decipher a puzzle. “….No… I was not…. but you should not have left before we could have shared a dance together - deep in your cups or not - it was our betrothal feast” Sansa sounded a little hurt but her tone was light enough.
Jon snorted “you would not want me as a dance partner Sansa….I am not as elegant or skilled as many that you shared steps with tonight”. He shook his head at himself and took another swig from his cup before he could take it no longer. “Was he there tonight”? Jon asked softly, eyes downcast into his tankard.
“Was who there”?
Don’t ask. You will not thank yourself for being privy to this information. This is the drink! The drink! You do not want to know this! The voice in his head screamed.
“The man who is or will be warming your bed”? Jon turned his sorrowful eyes to meet with Sansa’s shocked ones.
Sansa was silent for a while. She either did not or could not answer his raw question. She witnessed his grip on the back of his armchair increase, causing his tight knuckles to turn white.
“There were plenty to choose from Sansa, not one man in that room could take his eyes off of you” he said through gritted teeth.
Sansa’s features softened as she took a deep breath.
“Do you know why I chose to embroider the night sky onto my dress for this evening Jon”? She asked in a quiet voice as she looked down at her fiddling hands that lay in her lap.
“When I came to you, at Castle Black, do you remember taking me to the top of The Wall”?
“Yes but-” Jon’s words died in his throat as Sansa held up a silencing hand.
“It was night, the clearest night I’d seen in quiet sometime. The stars stretched out as far as the eye could see - twinkling and knowing our futures……I was scared back then, scared of everything and nearly everyone. Scared of that vast wilderness and the tumbling scenery. Scared of the biting winds whipping at my face…..but you were there Jon, and you reached for my hand, and I knew, I knew then that as long as you would reach for my hand, then I didn’t need to be afraid anymore…of anything…because we’d face it together, you and I”. Sansa paused. Jon gulped. “I wanted to wear the night sky to remind me that we are together, that you will always reach for my hand” her voice was quiet and her eyes did not meet his.
Jon sat down next to her and took one of her dainty hands in his own.
“Always” he breathed.
“Jon, you do know that I don’t normally wear such revealing dresses don’t you”? Sansa asked suddenly. Jon nodded. “So you must know that I designed this one as such for a reason”? Jon nodded once more as he leant back from her, not liking where he thought this was going.
Aye. To please your lover… or catch one.
Sansa stared at his face, scanning it hopefully before sighing and lunging forwards to join her lips with his, swallowing Jon’s surprised noise with her mouth.
She broke away before Jon had time to fully register what was happening. “You may be a King, commanded thousands of men and fought many a battle - but Gods you can be an idiot some times Jon Snow” Sansa grinned. “I wore the damned dress for you! It’s you I want to warm my bed and you I want to sleep soundly next to! I want to carry your children in my womb and grow old watching the night sky with YOU…fool that you are”.
Jon stared blankly at her face, contemplating her words before finally letting them sink into his bones like a soothing ointment, healing the hurt that his troubled thoughts had brought upon him.
It was Jon’s turn to crash his lips against hers this time as his heart soared and his hands drew her closer. They kissed for a while, both sets of hands roaming over each others clothes, causing hungry whimpers and sensual groans before Sansa broke away panting. She stood and held out her hand for him to take. Jon asked her silently where she would be leading him to - for he would follow wherever it may be.
“If we’re to have children together Jon Snow, I think we should practice making them first” she said with a playful twinkle in her eye that could match any star in the night’s sky.
And so Jon reached for her hand, as he would do, always.
If a Disney princess had night terrors, the story of Sansa Stark might be what woke her up screaming. Often overlooked in favor of her killer kid sister, the elder Stark sibling has had all her illusions about the world, and her safety in it, shattered. But her quiet, innate political shrewdness and emotional strength have enabled her to survive in a royal court that likely would have cost every other member of her family their heads. She’s the show’s best-kept secret.
Rollingstone about Sansa Stark in their list of top 40 game of thrones characters. Sansa is number 4. x
That’s not how you play the game. You don’t just blurt out the right answer.
Sansa Stark in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen. This is how she’s survived so long in King’s Landing. This is why she’s going to become a major player in the game. This is how she’ll outlive most of the other characters in King’s Landing. Sansa is not stupid. She is not “useless” or any other insult you can throw at her. She has learned quickly what it takes to survive in King’s Landing, even when the result of that lesson was her father’s head on a spike. She’s learned that she needs to lie to survive. She needs to spin stories and hide the truth and pretend you’re far more innocent and naive than you truly are. Sansa has some serious power brewing, and has since she swore that Robb would give her Joffrey’s head. She is not a force to be ignored, and anyone who thinks she’s weak or useless needs to sit down and reassess their view of this girl who’s been robbed of the life she used to know, who has come out of the other side with winter in her bones waiting to swallow the Lannisters whole.