Sansa and her “Stark connection”
Since the fandom is always saying how Sansa is not a Real Stark ™ I wanted to make a post in which I explain why Sansa, born in the Winter (unlike Arya or Bran or Rickon born in the long Summer), in Winterfell (unlike Jon or Robb born in the south) will always be a Stark ( no Lannister or Baelish or whatever…), no matter who she is forced to marry (to survive I might add..).
In AGOT Sansa (before her father died, and when she was meant to marry joffrey) is already very proud of her Stark origins.
Alyn carried the Stark banner. When she saw him rein in beside Lord Beric to exchange words, it made Sansa feel ever so proud.
While prefering The Seven (like her mother) she does admire the poetry of the old gods.
Besides, even if she could leave the castle, where would she go? It was enough that she could walk in the yard, pick flowers in Myrcella’s garden, and visit the sept to pray for her father. Sometimes she prayed in the godswood as well, since the Starks kept the old gods.
By the time she reached the godswood, the noises had faded to a faint rattle of steel and a distant shouting. Sansa pulled her cloak tighter. The air was rich with the smells of earth and leaf. Lady would have liked this place, she thought. There was something wild about a godswood; even here, in the heart of the castle at the heart of the city, you could feel the old gods watching with a thousand unseen eyes.
While she is called little bird, or little dove (when people want to undermine her), she is called wolf too.
Tyrion found himself thinking of his wife. Not Sansa; his first wife, Tysha. The whore wife, not the wolf wife.
“Your Grace has forgotten the Lady Sansa,” said Pycelle.
The queen bristled. “I most certainly have not forgotten that little she-wolf.” She refused to say the girl’s name.
And Sansa herself when she is in put a hard position takes courage in her Stark origins. Its something that gives her strength:
Do as you’re told, sweetling, it won’t be so bad. Wolves are supposed to be brave, aren’t they?
“Brave. Sansa took a deep breath. I am a Stark, yes, I can be brave.
"Winterfell?” Robert was small for eight, a stick of a boy with splotchy skin and eyes that were always runny. Under one arm he clutched the threadbare cloth doll he carried everywhere.
“Winterfell is the seat of House Stark,” Sansa told her husband-to-be. “The great castle of the north.”
“Do you require guarding?” Marillion said lightly. “I am composing a new song, you should know. A song so sweet and sad it will melt even your frozen heart. ‘The Roadside Rose,’ I mean to call it. About a baseborn girl so beautiful she bewitched every man who laid eyes upon her.
”I am a Stark of Winterfell, she longed to tell him. Instead she nodded, and let him escort her down the tower steps and along a bridge.
Petyr put his arm around her. “What if it is truth he wants, and justice for his murdered lady?” He smiled. “I know Lord Nestor, sweetling. Do you imagine I’d ever let him harm my daughter?
"I am not your daughter, she thought. I am Sansa Stark, Lord Eddard’s daughter and Lady Catelyn’s, the blood of Winterfell.
"As was bringing me here, when you swore to take me home.”She wondered where this courage had come from, to speak to him so frankly. From Winterfell, she thought. I am stronger within the walls of Winterfell.
I will tell my aunt that I don’t want to marry Robert. Not even the High Septon himself could declare a woman married if she refused to say the vows. She wasn’t a beggar, no matter what her aunt said. She was thirteen, a woman flowered and wed, the heir to Winterfell.
.His seamed and solemn face brought back all of Sansa’s memories of his time at Winterfell. She remembered him at table, speaking quietly with her mother. She heard his voice booming off the walls when he rode back from a hunt with a buck behind his saddle. She could see him in the yard, a practice sword in hand, hammering her father to the ground and turning to defeat Ser Rodrik as well. He will know me. How could he not? She considered throwing herself at his feet to beg for his protection. He never fought for Robb, why should he fight for me?
From the high battlements of the gatehouse, the whole world spread out below them. Sansa could see the Great Sept of Baelor on Visenya’s hill, where her father had died. At the other end of the Street of the Sisters stood the fire-blackened ruins of the Dragonpit. To the west, the swollen red sun was half-hidden behind the Gate of the Gods. The salt sea was at her back, and to the south was the fish market and the docks and the swirling torrent of the Blackwater Rush. And to the north …She turned that way, and saw only the city, streets and alleys and hills and bottoms and more streets and more alleys and the stone of distant walls. Yet she knew that beyond them was open country, farms and fields and forests, and beyond that, north and north and north again, stood Winterfell.
but personally my favorite line about Sansa being always a Stark and belonging North in Winterfell (Never a Lannister! , no matter who she marries) is this quote by Ned:
When it was over, he said, “Choose four men and have them take the body north. Bury her at Winterfell.”
“All that way?” Jory said, astonished.
“All that way,” Ned affirmed. “The Lannister woman shall never have this skin."
Sansa whole story (to me) is about her journey retaking her Stark origins which were stolen from her in the worst of way, just like they killed her wolf Lady. But just like Lady remains, Sansa place is and always will be in the north, as a Stark of Winterfell.