Sansa Stark Is The Taylor Swift Of Westeros

It is known. (SPOILERS for Season 3 of Game of Thrones.)

John Gara
ID: 1111266

1. They are both “Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” with someone (or someones).

ID: 1137102

2. They have clichéd views of romantic relationships, influenced by fairy tales and idealistic fantasies of love.

ID: 1137105

Taylor Swift’s lyrics seem to spring from stories of true love and heartbreak that bear little resemblance to the real world, as Vulture’s Willa Paskin points out in “Taylor Swift’s Precociousness Problem.”:

“[Swift’s] boy-crazy anthems voraciously pillage from our cultural store of romantic clichés and very rarely get specific: Sparks fly instantly; kisses happen in the rain; bouquets end up in the trash; hands run through hair; grooms skip out of on weddings; people have meaningful drawers at their boyfriend’s house.”

ID: 1118954

The best example of this is her smash hit “Love Story,” in which Swift sings about forbidden love while literally waiting in an ivory tower for her prince.

ID: 1116958

Her prince proposes after she begs him to “save her” and tells Swift that she’ll “never have to be alone.”

ID: 1110933

Even when she’s been thwarted in love, such as in the song “White Horse,” Swift uses familiar romantic imagery to express herself:

“White Horse”:

I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale,
I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet,
Lead her up the stairwell.

This ain’t Hollywood, this is a small town.
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down,
Now it’s too late for you and your white horse to come around.

ID: 1124419

Feminist blog Tiger Beatdown sums it up quite neatly:

“Taylor Swift is Twilight. It’s this totally idealized romantic narrative that fourteen-year-olds can project themselves into which is unrelated to the realities of relationships.”

ID: 1120638

The Game of Thrones books and TV show establish Sansa to be a girl raised on romantic tales of chivalry, knights and ladies. These childhood stories shaped her view of the world and she is initially very naive and idealistic.

ID: 1136542

“Sansa was a lady at three, always so courteous and eager to please. She loved nothing so well as tales of knightly valor.”

George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings
ID: 1136640

She is ecstatic when her marriage is arranged to Prince Joffrey, as he is literally the “Prince Charming” she has been waiting for her entire life.

ID: 1125132

“Sansa did not really know Joffrey yet, but she was already in love with him. He was all she ever dreamt her prince should be, tall and handsome and strong, with hair like gold.”

George R.R. Martin: A Game of Thrones
ID: 1136664

Even after Joffrey and his mother order the death of her pet direwolf Lady, Sansa still sees Joffrey as her “sweet prince” and inadvertently betrays her family and triggers the series of events that leads to her father’s death out of love for him.

ID: 1136391

Sansa loses her idealism and childish naïveté when the her father is executed.

ID: 1136842

“They are children, Sansa thought. They are silly little girls… Their dreams were full of songs and stories, the way hers had been before Joffrey cut her father’s head off. Sansa pitied them. Sansa envied them.”

George R.R. Martin: A Storm of Swords
ID: 1136849
ID: 1136752

3. They embrace traditional, arguably patriarchal, ideas of femininity and womanhood.

ID: 1111303

In her songs, Swift’s love interests are always in control, while she waits passively for them to sweep her off her feet or comfort/protect her. As Tumblr users have pointed out, this can make parts of her songs come off a little sexist.


So don’t you worry your pretty little mind,
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard.

The stakes are high,
The water’s rough,
But this love is ours.

ID: 1124441

Swift appears to embrace this idea in her personal life as well as in her songs. In a November interview with Harper’s Bazaar, she admitted that she liked the man in her life to “wear the pants” in their relationship:

“If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up…Relationships are the ultimate collaboration but it’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with.”

ID: 1120568

Although “Mine,” Swift’s song about a 21st century love story, ostensibly tells the tale of a modern romance (the heroine falls in love with a tattooed free spirit and eventually moves in with him), the music video depicts a very traditional life following this period.

ID: 1125412

The two get married, which is somewhat noteworthy since new CDC data shows that more U.S. couples choose to live together outside of wedlock than those who choose to tie the knot.

ID: 1125345

The heroine appears to get pregnant almost immediately after the wedding and the music video depicts scene after scene of domestic bliss.

ID: 1125358

It’s also worth pointing out that the video’s “perfect family” consists of parents and two sons, as opposed to daughters or even a son and a daughter. Male children have traditionally been viewed as more desirable than female children.

ID: 1125456

Sansa embraces the traditional role of women in Westerosi society (unlike her sister Arya, a fan favorite). Her goal in life was always to marry, raise children and run a household. The idea of being the future queen is her wildest dream come true.

ID: 1114903

Like most young noblewomen, she openly worries about failing to give birth to a son and heir - for the majority of the first book/season, this and her constant worry about whether or not Joffrey loves her are her two biggest concerns.

ID: 1121079

As a de facto hostage in King’s Landing after her father’s death, Sansa survives the treacherous court using the ladylike grace, dignity and perfect manners she was taught as a child, even in the face of physical and emotional abuse.

George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings.
ID: 1125282

As many on Tumblr have pointed out, Sansa’s grace and courtly manners helped her more in King’s Landing than open resistance would have.

ID: 1139226

4. They have horrible luck in romantic relationships.

ID: 1111350

Taylor Swift has gained notoriety for her string of failed relationships and the songs she’s written about her ex-boyfriends.

Peggy Truong / Celebuzz / Via
ID: 1120924

Widespread interest in who she’s dating has lead to her name constantly being linked romantically with male celebrities.

ID: 1135557

Her love life has become humorous fodder for comedians and presidents alike.

ID: 1135758
ID: 1135765

In a Vanity Fair interview this month, Swift fired back at endless rumors about her love life and complained about the “tabloid culture” that attempts to turn celebrities into “fictional character[s].”

“If you want some big revelation, since 2010 I have dated exactly two people… The fact that there are slide shows of a dozen guys that I either hugged on a red carpet or met for lunch or wrote a song with… it’s just kind of ridiculous.”

ID: 1124795

At first, Sansa is betrothed to Joffrey, but he breaks their engagement to marry Margaery Tyrell. She then falls in love with Loras Tyrell, who’s gay, before she’s forced to marry Tyrion Lannister. Two creepy older men are also interested in her.

ID: 1121267

Sansa’s love life doesn’t improve as the books progress. Without going into too much detail, people in positions of power continue to set her up with less than desirable suitors for their political gain.

This is illustrated to humorous effect in “Sansa’s Dating Woes,” a two-part comic by DeviantArtist alciha that is FULL OF SPOILERS THROUGH A FEAST FOR CROWS: Part One & Part Two.

ID: 1124895

5. They both maintain a public persona.

ID: 1135809

Taylor Swift has carefully cultivated her “good girl” image since the start of her career.

ID: 1136071

But as Swift becomes more famous, people have begun to question whether she is as sweet and wholesome as she maintains.

ID: 1136084

Taylor Swift’s “surprised award show face” has been widely disccused amongst fans and media figures alike.

ID: 1117037

Commentators point out that Taylor Swift has the same reaction (“makes the same face”) every time she wins an award.

ID: 1121458

Vulture explains the backlash to Swift’s joyful expressions:

“The face is meant to be genuine, humble, and polite, but it comes off as affected. She has won more than 60 awards. It is getting difficult to believe it’s a shock. Swift, like the good, smart stage kid she is, is obeying the letter, rather than the spirit, of graciousness. She comes across as disingenuous in the very act of being herself.”

ID: 1120361

After her father’s death and her brother’s rebellion, Sansa must disavow her family and pledge love and obedience to Joffrey, a sadistic boy who regularly orders his guards to beat her, in order to survive. Her ability to sell this act keeps her alive.

ID: 1137063

She may adopt a public persona, but she has a really good reason for doing so.

ID: 1115459

6. They have been publicly humiliated by powerful, somewhat unstable men.

ID: 1137109

No explanation needed.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images
ID: 1111072

After King Joffrey learns of Sansa’s brother’s victory in the north, he threatens Sansa with a crossbow in front of the entire court and orders his guards to beat her.

Game of Thrones / HBO
ID: 1114564

Joffrey orders them to tear her clothes off as they attack her. In the books, they actually strip her naked from the waist up.

Game of Thrones / HBO
ID: 1114568

7. They are the objects of widespread hatred.

ID: 1111417

Taylor Swift ranked in the top 20 on Star magazine’s annual list of “Most Hated Celebrities” in April 2013.

ID: 1116320

Survey respondents cited Swift’s string of relationships, songs about ex-boyfriends, perceived “fakeness” and recent feud with the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as reasons for their hatred.

ID: 1116346

The New York Times reports that Swift’s popularity rating has recently dipped to a record low for the singer.

According to the marketing evaluations company Q Scores, Ms. Swift’s popularity rating, which takes into account familiarity (about 8 out of 10 people surveyed knows who she is) and appeal, peaked in 2010 at 30 out of 100. Presumably, Ms. Swift was reaping the benefits of the Kanye West debacle, when he interrupted her acceptance speech for Best Female Video by barging onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009.

But her popularity score has since dropped by a third, to 20 this year, the lowest it’s ever been, though still 4 points higher than the average score (16) in the performer category.

“She’s not doing the kind of numbers that an advertiser would really love to see,” said Steven Levitt, president of the marketing company, noting her trajectory.

ID: 1135801

The top entry under “Taylor Swift” on Urban Dictionary (written two years ago) provides more detail on why Swift’s haters dislike her.

ID: 1117015

Sansa Stark inspires similar reactions among Game of Thrones viewers and readers of A Song of Ice and Fire.

ID: 1115328

She is one of the most unpopular characters among fans of the series and the TV show.

ID: 1114773

I think I hate Sansa in Season one of Game of Thrones (and the book) more than any other character on TV.

— Nic Ryder (@Nic_Ryder)

I think I hate Sansa in Season one of Game of Thrones (and the book) more than any other character on TV.— Nic Ryder

ID: 1111518

8. They thrive (or, at least, survive) in cutthroat environments.

ID: 1111398

Taylor Swift is one of the most successful music artists of all time. Period. She’s won 154 awards, including 6 Grammy. Her album “Red,” released in October 2012, sold 1.2 million copies— the largest sales week for any album in a decade.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
ID: 1111052

Sansa Stark is alive, while members of her family and many fan favorite characters are dead. Say what you like about Sansa, the girl knows how to survive… and in Westeros, that’s no small accomplishment.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic
ID: 1115117

In conclusion:

ID: 1136014

BONUS: Actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, defends her character in this amazing GIFset.

ID: 1139235
ID: 1139254

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing