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Why the Stark siblings ruled Game of Thrones this season

 

It’s hard to believe that season seven of Game of Thrones is over. Season 7, Episode 7 – ‘The Dragon and The Wolf’ was filled with surprises and revelations we had hoped were true. It also left viewers with a lot more questions of what is to come in the final season. The biggest revelation, of course, was something we already expected. Jon Snow is not really Ned Stark’s son He is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.  Bran confirmed this when he spoke to Samwell Tarly, who arrived with Gilly and Little Sam at Winterfell.

Another thing we knew that would happen was Dany and Jon ended up consummating their relationship. However, this new revelation confirms our long-held suspicion that the two are actually aunt and nephew. Considering Bran’s revelation was intercut with Dany and Jon having sex, the intention of what this is insinuating is clear. Dany is herself a product of incest, and with all the discussions about her being unable to have a child, it’s the perfect foreshadowing for the potential child that could be born to the Dragon and the Wolf.

Additionally, Tyrion going head to head with Cersei allowed powerhouse actors Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey the chance to show off those powerful acting chops we know they have, but have missed seeing much of this season. While these were certainly pinnacle moments of the episode, something else really significant happened on the show in another part of Westeros. While much of the focus will be on Jon being the “true heir” of the Iron Throne in the months to come, the women of Winterfell spent the episode enacting justice.

Last week, it looked like Sansa was reverting back to her old ways, as Littlefinger looked to be manipulating her into questioning Arya’s loyalty. It appeared to be working, too, that is until Sansa had her guards escort Arya into the hall. It was a ruse, to get Littlefinger in the hall, with no way to escape. With nowhere for him to run, Sansa finally accused Littlefinger of murder and treason. After years of lurking in the shadows Littlefinger had nowhere to run, and it was glorious!

Littlefinger personified everything that makes a creepy uncle someone you fight so hard to avoid at family get-togethers. The guy gave off mad heebie-jeebies! After asking Littlefinger whether he denied the charges against him it was sweet to watch the Stark children answer his bumbling words and attempts to find anything that he could possibly use to convince Sansa not to kill him. Littlefinger underestimated the Stark sisters, and he also underestimated Sansa’s family loyalty. At the end of the day, she’s a Stark, and her mother and father both died upholding the values that their family held dear.

It’s really common to see women turned against one another in media. That is often the typical trajectory, even for siblings. However, despite their differences, Sansa and Arya are still sisters. The two seem to recognize the trauma they have both experienced and found one another’s strength. It’s really nice to see two women working together, to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. It was also nice for Sansa to accept Arya, even as she murdered Littlefinger in cold blood. Sansa wanted Littlefinger to believe she was afraid of Arya, but the person Arya is now is not only useful to Sansa, especially given her fighting skills, she’s family.

Sansa has had quite the evolution. She could have easily slipped into her old ways. She has no reason to trust anyone, and her history of trauma would make it understandable for her to question anyone. Arya has changed significantly, as well, and Sansa does not know anything about her sister anymore.

Sansa’s history of trauma may have actually been her strength, because it made her question Littlefinger. She was finally acknowledging his part in causing her trauma. He’d been a part of so much of the pain that Sansa has had to endure since she was a child. Let’s not forget, Littlefinger literally sold her to her rapist. He had manipulated her for years. This moment allowed Sansa to finally speak up for herself against one of her primary abusers.

Sansa is not a fool. She had one of the best lines of the night when she said, “I’m a slow learner, it’s true…but I learn.” That line is more than just an acknowledgment of Sansa’s evolution to the much more mature leader she is today. It’s also an acknowledgement that it is okay to make mistakes, and learn from them in the process, even if it takes a while.

The Stark siblings showed that together they are competent leaders. Their strengths complement one another, which can only be a benefit in the impending war. Bran needs to be an active part of the fight, as well. We have only received a sneak peek of what kind of help he can give, so hopefully we will get to see more. What is disappointing is that despite having some of the most interesting powers on the show, Bran remains relegated to a secondary character.

Bran has wheels, finally, which should have been a game changer, but he still remains trapped. Other than his emo garden voyages, he has had little to do, yet again, this season. Jon and Daenerys need to recognize the strength in his abilities, and use him to help in the war to come. It’s just frustrating to see yet another disabled character with actual real potential essentially forgotten about by the creators. Of course, Bran isn’t played by an actually disabled actor, so the role already has problems, but if he has to exist, we can, at least, hope for more.

As Season Eight approaches, everyone is headed to Winterfell to join the Starks. Jon and Dany are coming by boat. Jamie abandoned Cersei (FINALLY!) and appears to be heading that way. The armies of Dany and Jon will be there soon, as will the Dragons. Even the dead one, and it shoots blue ice that destroys walls! Whatever is happening next season remains a mystery. What we do know is that winter is here… and  a lot of people are going to die. This is Game of Thrones, we knew this was coming!