There is no doubt that the explosive Game of Thrones season finale was centred around the show's capital, but what was going on elsewhere in Westeros? As the Northern armies rallied behind the newly empowered Jon Snow, Sansa Stark looked less than impressed by her brother/cousin's fanboys - so what does this mean?
In a world as expansive as George Lucas's, there are as many villains as there are heroes! Everyone has theories about Daenerys being the ultimate villain of the show, whilst many were right about Cersei's move to the dark side, but whose eyes are on the young Stark girl? Over the Narrow Sea and the South are covered for female figureheads, but who is the next big bad of the North? Sansa Stark, that's who! Just as Phantom Menace introduce little Anakin Skywalker, who wouldn't say boo to a goose, we watched the young Jedi evolve into the ultimate villain of the franchise. I'm not saying that Sansa is going to enter King's Landing and slice up Quyburn's 'Little Birds', but cinema has taught us that dark times lead people down dark paths - Sansa has had plenty of them! Anakin was faced with the death of his mother (Sansa), and was turned by the growth of dark powers around him (Sansa again!). Game of Thrones runs on morally questionable characters; whilst Sansa's transformation may be a little more subtle than that of Cersei 'Mad Queen' Lannister, we can still feel ripples in the water and here are the signs...light up your lightsabers!
The Original Plan
Going back Westeros: A Phantom Menace, Sansa was always supposed to be a villain anyway. In a letter that George R.R. Martin sent to publishers back in 1993, he outlined his original plan for the books. In this first draft, Sansa was portrayed as a spoiled Joffrey idoliser, who betrays the Stark name to become a Lannister - a decision she 'would live to regret.' In this world, Martin clearly dreamt of Sansa as a moral question mark, so could we be about to see this in reverse. Anakin Skywalker started his life as a family-centric boy who fought for good, before being forced down a dark path by what happened to him. Sansa's two story arc of the Vale and Winterfell has taken her away from family goals and subjected her to not only rape, but a rise to power. She is unlikely to betray the Stark name to the Lannister family (there are only three left), but with Littlefinger on side, she could betray Jon in order to claim the North.
Blood Is Thicker Than Water
Talking of the King in the North, the long suspected R + L = J theory could have bigger implications than just Jon Snow being a Targaryen. With Jon Snow officially no longer in full Stark lineage, he has slipped from the No.1 spot of Winterfell to No.3. Jon is still part-Stark, born of Lyanna, but Bran is the next heir of Winterfell. With Bran presumed dead, Sansa is therefore in line to Winterfell until his return - something that Littlefinger will be all too keen to exploit. Think of Jon and his banner men as the Jedis and Baelish as the Empire.
Whilst the Northern houses may have declared allegiance to 'the King in the North', shady looks across the Winterfell feast room imply that at least two people think it should be a Queen in the North. Let's not forget that Ramsay was declared Lord of Winterfell and Sansa being his wife, she is also technically STILL entitled to the seat. Thankfully we are pretty confident there aren't many (or any) left that still support that claim, but it is there nonetheless.
A Taste Of Violence
Talking of Winterfell's other bastard, Ramsay is gone but not forgotten. A post-Darth Anakin grew particularly fond of slicing Tuscan Raiders and Sansa's dispatching of everyone's favourite public enemy was a cheer of the season. Odd camera shots of possible 'bumps' and Ramsay saying he was inside Sansa lead some to think that she was bearing his child, and Ramsay's words to her may have had more meaning than we thought. It was soon debunked that Ramsay Bolton did not pop a bun in Sansa's oven, but being 'inside' her still rings true. The Sansa Stark of Season 1 would never have fed someone to the dogs, but her days of Joffrey pining are long gone. Thanks to the Hound and Faceless Men, we have already seen Arya develop a passion for murder, so is Sansa the latest Stark serial killer? As for Sansa's bloodlust, Sophie Turner told The Hollywood Reporter:
I think Sansa could maybe develop a taste for killing. Who knows. It could be a little worrying, for sure.
A vengeful and kill-crazy Sansa then easily sets up the next big theory...
Mum's the word
Despite the obvious visual comparisons and Petyr Baelish's love, Sansa is slowly becoming a Catelyn Stark Jr., which could spell trouble for our fiery red head. Sansa and Jon have always shared a tenuous relationship, thanks in no small part to Catelyn Stark. Seeing his place at Winterfell as a reminder of Ned Stark's supposed infidelity, the long-dead matriarch never showed love to the young bastard. Even prisoner Theon Greyjoy enjoyed more of a happy childhood at Winterfell than our mop-haired hero. As both Sansa and Jon grow older, their differences only become more apparent; as Jon shies away from the important political moves, Sansa and her resting bitch face excel at them.
As for the suspected arrival of Lady Stoneheart (we won't bore you), some suspect that an alternative version could pop up on HBO's show, with Sansa donning the role of the undead vengeance monster. Obviously this is a stretch, having Sansa die, then be resurrected, but instead of going full zombie, we could just see Sansa adopt the principles that LSH embodies. Oh, just like her Star Wars counterpart, she is a fan of a hood - also Stoneheart's signature wardrobe piece.
The Dark Mark
The crux of AMC's Breaking Bad was the disintegration of the two key characters; from the moment Sansa sent her cryptic message in "The Broken Man", she and Jon have been on some slippery Jessie/Walt territory. To make matters worse, we have already seen Sansa lie to Jon about the arrival of the Knights of the Vale and we still aren't quite sure why. Now, with the Northern bannermen rallying behind Jon and him getting all the credit, Sansa's jealousy will only get worse. Turner went on to tell The Hollywood Reporter:
He's getting all of the credit for basically Sansa saving his ass. Obviously he played a huge part in the Battle of the Bastards, but Sansa really saved him. There's a bit of jealousy there. She looks at Littlefinger knowing that he would have put her as Queen in the North, and given her the credit she deserves. I don't think she's gunning for the Iron Throne anytime soon, but she realizes that Littlefinger might be a better ally than she thought, a more trustworthy ally than she thought.
Sansa's willingness to give up so easily on Rickon shows that the bad things that have happened to her have clearly taken their toll on her. For a Season 1 Sansa, family was everything; sure her and Arya had their squabbles, but Winterfell was home. As we head towards the end of the show, Sansa is only looking out for No.1; with someone like Littlefinger by her side, she is in a powerful position.
The End Goal
Finally, it is back to Star Wars comparisons; Anakin's descent into Darth territory was brought on not only by the death of his mother, but by his ideological struggles with Obi-Wan - a.k.a. Sansa and Jon. You have your very own Emperor in the form of Petyr Baelish, and there is no doubt that three's a crowd. The longer that Littlefinger sits by Sansa's side, the bigger the Stark/Targaryen divide will get. She may be currently rebuffing his advances as a 'pretty picture', but we aren't sure how much longer Sansa can avoid her fate as Queen in the North. There is more to Westeros than Winterfell, and with winter coming, it is awfully cold in Jon's shadow. Prepare for a full Black Swan emergence of Darth Sansa in Season 7 and beyond! Don't say we didn't warn you.