What’s your take on Sansa’s attitude in episode 9? A lot of people are saying that she seemed so heartless when talking to Jon about Rickon who can’t be saved anymore, when just in the previous eps, she was the one who told Jon that they needed to reclaim Winterfell and Rickon. Don’t get me wrong, i love Sansa and she’s one of my faves, but I feel that she did seem to be poorly written by D&D for that ep. Idk man i just have so many feels for these 3 rn.
I thought that her reactions weren’t out of character, honestly – there are others who have explained her reaction in episode 9 far better than me, but I’ll try to explain as best as I can.
I understand that her differing opinion can be seen as odd, but to me it seemed like it’s based on how she felt with the information she had. When she told Jon they needed to reclaim Winterfell and Rickon, it was genuine. She had just learned that her abuser had her brother captive, and she was angry and went from house to house to have support to get both of them back. Jon and Sansa argued, and it was mostly about getting more fighters or else they would lose. I think that she realized Rickon wouldn’t live through the war when she and Jon went to meet with Ramsay, and that it was shown through Jon and Sansa’s argument immediately afterwards. Instead of fighting about needing more men, they fought more about the fact that Jon didn’t know how to properly deal with Ramsay, and by underestimating him, he was falling straight into Ramsay’s hands. Sansa had to look at Ramsay, and when she asked if Rickon was even with him, he pulled out Shaggydog’s head. Before, she only knew that Ramsay had Rickon, but now she knows that: 1. They have too little men. 2. Rickon’s wolf, his biggest protection, is dead. 3. Jon thinks that he’s properly sized Ramsay up, when he’s really about to play into his hands.
I think that is why she told Jon that they were never going to see Rickon alive again. It may have been forming in her mind before, but after the meeting with Ramsay, she had to accept it as a fact. Hell, she’s changed her mind before when she’s gotten more information – she rejects Petyr’s offer of an army because she doesn’t trust him, but when she realizes they need more men, when she gets more information, she knows she has to ask for help, and I think the same mentality came into her opinion on Rickon’s fate.
And as for the comments that say that Sansa “didn’t care” about Rickon, I say that Sansa is allowed to grieve in her own way. She chose to grieve by ending Ramsay. Her accepting that Rickon was doomed in no way means she is heartless. Sansa’s reactions to deaths have been less and less publicly emotional – when Ned dies, she faints, but Joffrey showing her Ned’s head does nothing to her. Even in the books, she looks at it and feels numb, but rather feels like it’s not even really her father’s head. When Cat and Robb die, she cries, but privately – Tyrion doesn’t even think that Sansa has reacted to their deaths until he shuts the door and hears her crying. And when Rickon is with Ramsay? Sansa accepts it because she knows Ramsay is cruel and won’t allow Rickon to live, and I believe she decided to be more inward with her grief than outward, but I do not believe she doesn’t care. Just look at her looking at Rickon’s body:
That is not the face of someone who doesn’t care. Her eyes don’t leave Rickon the entire time his body is there. The scene immediately afterwards is her telling Ramsay he has lost and then allowing him to die. Just because Sansa isn’t expressing her grief outwardly like certain people want, doesn’t mean that she’s heartless or didn’t care about what happened to Rickon.
There are a lot of issues with this storyline and how D&D decided to carry it out, such as creating a Rape Revenge/Rape as Empowerment trope to develop Sansa, whereas the books have been developing her nicely (and although they will unfortunately have a rape scene for her, most likely won’t use it as a revenge plot or to make her “stronger”). However, I don’t have issues with Sansa’s characterization itself – it makes sense that she would be angry about Rickon’s capture, practical about Rickon’s fate, and grieve for him in her own way. Sansa is allowed to feel different emotions about this situation, have a different opinion when she gets more information, and not be crucified for not breaking down and sobbing as fandom thinks that she should.