I’m still not completely sure about what I think of the Sansa = Queen in the North idea, but a thing that really bothers me nevertheless is when people say she’s too ”passive” and ”soft” for the role. Excuse me?
When she gets her period and realises that means she’ll have to marry Joffrey she immediately gets up and tries to fricking burn the mattress to hide the blood stains. This mostly shows how traumatized and scared she is, but it works to illustrate the point I’m making about her not being passive. At all -
Snatching up her knife, Sansa hacked at the sheet, cutting out the stain. If they ask me about the hole, what will I say? Tears ran down her face. She pulled the torn sheet from the bed, and the stained blanket as well. I’ll have to burn them. She balled up the evidence, stuffed it in the fireplace, drenched it in oil from her bedside lamp, and lit it afire. […] She was on her knees, struggling to shove the mattress into the flames as thick grey smoke eddied around her and filled the room, when the door burst open and she heard her maid gasp.
In the end it took three of them to pull her away. [Sansa IV, ACOK]
Also, let’s recall what happened when she first met Ser Dontos in the godswood
She drew the knife and held it before her with both hands.
“Are you going to stab me?” Dontos asked.
"I will,” she said. “Tell me who sent you.” [Sansa II, ACOK]
Personally, I’m not sure she would’ve actually stabbed him, or at least not too effectively, but she is still quite ready to defend herself, even by using force, when necessary.
And earlier in that same chapter
Sansa threw a plain grey cloak over her shoulders and picked up the knife she used to cut her meat. If it is some trap, better that I die than let them hurt me more, she told herself. She hid the blade under her cloak. [Sansa II, ACOK]
She prepared to fight. She was ready to die in case it was a trap, but she prepared to fight. She never even used a weapon before and she definitely didn’t fight anyone but she still prepared herself. If that’s not tough and brave and active then idk what is.
”I must be as strong as my lady mother” is often used as a way to show how Sansa demonstrates her strength by enduring hardship quietly but firmly while staying ladylike or something. But is that really all that being as strong as Catelyn means? Because yes, Catelyn is ladylike and holds herself together under pressure, but she is also tough as hell, and can be pretty brutal sometimes (and I mean while she’s still fully herself, before she dies).
So this might be a good place to remember the ”All it would take was a shove” scene, and that Sansa was literally contemplating killing Joffrey back in AGOT.
Her prayer for him when he goes off to fight in ACOK is - ”Let his sword break and his shield shatter, Sansa thought coldly as she shoved out through the doors, let his courage fail him and every man desert him.”
When Tyrion says that Joffrey will get so drunk on his wedding that he’ll fall over, Sansa thinks ”Good. Perhaps he’ll break his neck.” (ASOS)
Just because she is kind and sweet doesn’t mean that’s all she is, and those traits don’t make her incapable of being fierce and tough if need be. (and her being willing to stab someone when her life might be in danger doesn’t make her any less kind, nor does it detract from her character)
I’m not gonna go over all the instances when she shows she is politically smart as well (which support the idea that she could do just fine as a political player) b/c there’s so much wonderful meta about that already. But I really wanted to write about her ”general passivity” because the idea that she just quietly sits and lets things happen needs to die asap. She has to quietly endure a lot in King’s Landing, but that doesn’t mean she’s incapable or unwilling to do anything.