Why Sansa in Winterfell makes no sense for any player involved

Roose Bolton:

  • Only holds Winterfell based on Tywin granting him the position of Warden. Getting a letter that says “hey, I have Sansa Stark” (aka fugitive #1) and responding with anything but a raven to King’s Landing alerting them of a possible traitor in the Vale is a ridiculous gamble. We know Roose Bolton is a cautious and calculating man, and we know he only acted for the Red Wedding when he got assurances.


  • The same person who went to great lengths to sneak Sansa out of the capital is now sending a raven to one of the Lannister’s best allies at this point—which also happens to be the family that loathes the Starks and actively betrayed them—to inform them that Sansa Stark is alive and in the Vale?
  • Littlefinger wrote this letter so that Roose would agree to marry Sansa to Ramsay, which does absolutely nothing to strengthen Sansa’s claim in the North. In fact allying with a Bolton is likely to weaken the Northern opinion of her. It would make more sense at this point to declare Sansa Queen in the North, have the Vale rally to her, and ride to Winterfell collecting Northern Lords on the way.
  • Littlefinger knows Stannis is coming with his army to Winterfell and expects Stannis to win, and that after winning he’ll name Sansa “Wardeness of the North.” Why wouldn’t he try to get a letter to Stannis in that case, or at the least, why is he trying to put Sansa in what he knows is about to become an active battle zone? He knows Stannis will want the Stark name to strengthen hold in the North and assumes the man will win. There’s no reason Sansa couldn’t just stay in the Vale with the people who will protect her. If Stannis loses, then come up with a plan where maybe Sansa infiltrates the Boltons (which is still stupid).
  • Littlefinger gets absolutely nothing in return. He hands his biggest asset to Roose Bolton for an “alliance” (?) that doesn’t actually do anything. It doesn’t strengthen his power in the Vale, and marrying Sansa off to the son of the Warden of the North doesn’t put her (and by extension him) in a position of greater power at all.
  • Littlefinger didn’t do simple background research on Ramsay. He literally said the words “I haven’t heard much about you,” yet still arranged this marriage. Perhaps if he asked any Northern Lord on the way to Winterfell (like maybe someone from House Cerwyn when Ramsay just actively flayed the Lord) he could have guessed that this wouldn’t be a good idea. There’s a difference between being a “betting man” and making uninformed stabs in the dark.


  • Sansa has no reason to go along with this. She has the Vale Lords on her side, which is rather important in case Littlefinger mistreats her or say…arranges a marriage she doesn’t want. So she has plenty of agency here. She gains nothing from it: daughter-in-law of the Warden of the North is not exactly a politically powerful position. The only way this would make sense is if she’s an assassin being dropped in to slit throats in the night. And while there’s commentary from the costume designer about Sansa wearing a miniature Needle (seriously wtf), this really isn’t Sansa’s skillset. She agreed with absolutely no specifics, and not even knowing the full political situation (like Stannis’s impending attack).

Why this is terrible:

  • It casually smashes the characterizations of three very serious players in one fell swoop because they thought it would be more shocking to put Sansa in this situation. Apparently things like consistency and logic are nothing when you can have gasps.
Stannis and Roose are very different people
  • Stannis:Shireen everyone told me to abandon you when you caught a disease but I told them to go fuck themselves. You are my daughter and I love you
  • Roose:Ramsay I raped your mum under the tree I hanged her husband from. You are my son and I love you.