The Hound was right, she thought, I am only a little bird, repeating the words they taught me. (Sansa, AGOT)
Arry was a fierce little boy with a sword, and I’m just a grey mouse girl with a pail. (Arya, ACOK)
i like the contrast between these two personas. sansa has always been courteous and pretty but its not until kings landing that her natural disposition becomes her tools for survival. even after the lannisters betray and abuse sansa she’s expected to be joffreys grateful betrothed. she has to smile and dress well and say everything that is required of her.
arya adopts a somewhat similar persona when she’s a prisoner in harrenhal. she becomes a mouse, nonthreatening and vulnerable, just like her sister. the major differences are defined by status. while sansa is in a cage for display arya is in a maze wheres she’s just another pow. sansa recites pretty words arya quietly observes. arya wears scratchy grey clothes, sleeps in straw, and scrubs harrenhal until her hands bleed.
Sansa stalked away with her head up. She was to be a queen, and queens did not cry. At least not where people could see. (Sansa, AGOT)
I won’t cry, she thought, I won’t do that. I’m a Stark of Winterfell, our sigil is the direwolf, direwolves don’t cry. (Arya, ACOK)
sansa rarely compares herself to any animals and even when she thinks she’s a little bird its not even her own thought. animals are not particularly relevant to her experiences. she prefers things like songs and social status. her bird-esque behavior also predates her hostage crisis and exists after the fact. this is another huge difference. arya constantly uses animals as symbols throughout her journey. but the direwolf is the one she always comes back to in the end.
I am a direwolf, and done with wooden teeth. (Arya, ACOK)
Be brave, she told herself. Be brave, like a lady in a song. (Sansa, ASOS)
again, this is reflected in their castle(/prison) escapes. arya relies on her wolf instincts for survival. but those would have little use in sansa’s situation. i think another factor her is that arya’s actually been inside a wolfs head. she is connected to nymeria, body and soul. sansa’s bond to lady was severed before she got inside her wolf’s head. but ultimately i think its just a difference in personality.
A lady remembered her courtesies, and she was resolved to be a lady no matter what. (Sansa, AGOT)
I’m not a lady, Arya wanted to tell her, I’m a wolf. (Arya, ASOS)