|This should have never happened.|
Let me just say it: Sansa Stark is NOT supposed to be in Winterfell! She’s not supposed to be in the clutches of that maniac Ramsay Bolton. She just isn’t.
Sansa has already endured one insane little man in Joffrey, and not even George R.R. Martin – who is notoriously ruthless towards his characters – was sadistic enough to throw her into a bedroom with Ramsay, who may be the most purely evil character in A Song of Ice and Fire. In the book, Ramsay’s victim is Jayne Poole, a minor character who is forced to pose as Arya Stark, only to be abused and broken by Ramsay. But Martin never makes us watch. He just shows us the effects: a shattered, terrified girl, covered in bite marks. This was never meant to happen to Sansa. Perhaps Laura Hudson said it best in her recap on Wired:
Forcing [Sana] back into the role of victim and sexually humiliating her at the hands of yet another sadistic fiance adds nothing that we haven’t seen before, and indeed, feels regressive. All the forward momentum of her character development is undercut by this assault, transforming her back into the same little girl she was at King’s Landing, weeping as her dress was torn off. Shoehorning additional abuse and rape into her story at this point isn’t just upsetting; it’s boring and counterproductive. Poorly done, show. Poorly done.
Look, I understand the writers had to do something with Sansa since her entire story line from the books was completed last season. But clearly, Martin has a plan for her because she’s a viewpoint character in The Winds Of Winter – and being Ramsay’s victim isn’t it.
The show’s writers are combining characters to limit the number of story lines they have to portray this season. Sansa has become Jayne Poole. Ser Jorah is playing the role of himself and a bit of Jon Connington’s now that he’s secretly contracted grayscale. Jaime is playing the role of Arys Oakheart in Dorne. But the problem is, Jaime still needs to play his own role, as he does in the books. And so does Jorah, and so does Sansa. With Ser Barristan dead, maybe the show is setting up Tyrion to take his role as the Hand of the Queen in Meereen. But that’s not supposed to happen either. Tyrion undoubtedly has a different role to play, even if we have to wait for The Winds Of Winter to learn what it is.
I’m not blaming the writers for having to stray from the books (although if they had added in the Ironborn story line and kept Dorne its own subplot (sans Jaime), they might have had enough material to get through season 5 without changing too much). But with Sansa Stark, I can’t help but believe the writers made the wrong choice.
** Image courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes