Sansa is the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and his wife Lady Catelyn, sister of Robb, Arya, Bran and Rickon Stark, and half-sister of Jon Snow. She moves to King's Landing when her father is appointed Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon, and she is betrothed to heir apparent Joffrey.
Things soon turn sour for Sansa in King's Landing; she is forced to watch as her father is betrayed and executed for treason by Joffrey. During the resulting War of the Five Kings, Sansa is effectively a prisoner of the Lannisters, and repeatedly humiliated and brutalized by Joffrey, who later repudiates his betrothal to her in favor of Margaery Tyrell. During her captivity, Sansa, by now thought to be the last surviving Stark, is unwillingly married to Tyrion Lannister at the behest of his father. In the wake of Joffrey's assassination, she is spirited away from the city by Petyr Baelish. She adopts the alias of Alayne and is presented as Lord Petyr's niece, as Sansa is a suspect in Joffrey's murder.
Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter and second child of Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark. Eddard is the head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North. The North is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Stark is one of the Great Houses of the realm. House Stark rules the region from their seat of Winterfell and Eddard also holds the titles of Lord of Winterfell and the Warden of the North to King Robert Baratheon.
Sansa was born and raised at Winterfell. She has an older brother, Robb, two younger brothers, Bran and Rickon, a younger sister, Arya and a bastard half-brother, Jon. Sansa enjoys proper "lady-like" pursuits, and is good at sewing, embroidering, poetry, and music. She dreams of being a regal Queen like Cersei Lannister, and that just like in the epic songs she will meet her knight in shining armor. She has the Tully coloring as do most of her siblings, and Lady Catelyn thinks Sansa will be even more beautiful than she was when she was younger. She is often seen in contrast with her sister, Arya Stark who has neither her looks nor her accomplishments in feminine activities and comportment
When her brothers find an orphaned litter of direwolf pups, Sansa adopts the gentlest one and names her Lady. When King Robert Baratheon visits Winterfell to offer Sansa's father the position of Hand of the King, he also offers to betrothe his son Joffrey to Sansa. Sansa, who is very taken with the handsome young prince, thinks this is a splendid notion. She longs for the excitement of the capital and begs her parents to agree to the match, until they do so. Eddard takes the handship and decides to take his daughters with him to the capital.
At the Crossroads Inn on the kingsroad, Joffrey offers to walk Sansa along the riverbank after the disquieting experience of meeting Ser Ilyn Payne, the king's headsman. They find Arya practicing her swordwork with Mycah, a butcher's son, and Joffrey starts to hurt him for acting above his station and striking a girl of noble blood. Arya strikes Joffrey, and when the prince retaliates, Arya's direwolf, Nymeria, intervenes and bites Joffrey's arm. Arya and Mycah flee and Joffrey cries before snapping at Sansa to get him help. Sansa is taken before King Robert and his retainers and asked to corroborate Joffrey's claim, that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack. Arya tells her to tell the truth, but to Arya's fury, Sansa is worried about upsetting her relationship with Joffrey, so she says that it happened too fast for her to know. Queen Cersei orders that Nymeria be executed for harming Joffrey, but when the direwolf cannot be found she suggests that Lady be substituted for her. Eddard, furious with Robert for agreeing to this, carries out the execution himself, to Sansa's anger.
Arriving in King's Landing, Sansa's enmity towards Arya and her father continues. Eddard fails to mollify Sansa by buying her a doll as she hasn't played with dolls for years. Eddard explains to Arya that Sansa could not defy Joffrey or go against his version of events if she wished to maintain his goodwill in marriage.
Septa Mordane shows Sansa the throne room of the Red Keep as part of a history lesson, Sansa realizes that her grandfather and uncle were killed there by the Mad King. Sansa is fearful that she will not be able to give Joffrey sons, only daughters like her friend Jeyne Poole's mother, but Mordane doesn't think this likely.
At the Hand's tournament, Sansa witnesses Ser Gregor Clegane killing Ser Hugh of the Vale during a joust. Littlefinger tells Sansa about how Gregor burned the face of his brother, Sandor, when they were very young. Sandor is Joffrey's bodyguard and Littlefinger advises against relaying the story to Sandor.
Sansa is given a flower by Ser Loras Tyrell, the famous Knight of the Flowers, before his tilt with Ser Gregor Clegane. He gives the flower to Sansa, but he is looking at Prince Renly who is sitting behind her. She witnesses him defeating Gregor, and Gregor's subsequent furious attack on him, which is halted only by the intervention of Sandor. She joins the smallfolk in applauding Sandor's actions
Sansa and Septa Mordane are embroidering, and Sansa begins speaking very rudely to her, as time at court around Cersei is changing her for the worse. Joffrey visits Sansa and gives her a present. He also apologizes for the incident on the Kingsroad and kisses her, winning back her favor. Sansa is later told by her father that he is sending her and Arya back to Winterfell, and her betrothal to Joffrey is to be broken. Sansa refuses to accept this: she tells them that she loves Joffrey, she will be his queen, and give him beautiful blonde-haired children. He will be a great king and a golden lion. When Arya points out that he isn't a lion, but a stag like his father, King Robert, Sansa angrily says Joffrey is nothing like him. This inadvertently leads Eddard to realize that Joffrey and his siblings are not King Robert's true children. Eddard tells Sansa and Arya that they are returning to Winterfell, over Sansa's furious protests. King Robert dies following a hunting accident and Eddard attempts to reveal the truth about Joffrey to prevent him taking the throne. Eddard is betrayed by Littlefinger, his guards are killed and he is arrested.
Eddard's retinue at the Red Keep is slaughtered by House Lannister guardsmen led by Sandor. Mordane moves to confront the Lannister soldiers, while telling Sansa to lock herself in their rooms. Sansa is taken into custody by Sandor and brought to Cersei. She pleads for her father's cause, insisting that a mistake has been made, and proclaiming her own loyalty. Cersei says that she will believe Sansa is loyal on the condition that Sansa write to Robb asking him to bend the knee and swear fealty to Joffrey. The letter is unsuccessful and Robb instead raises an army and marches south to relieve the Riverlands from the Lannister armies. Sansa again pleads for mercy and for her father's life, this time in front of the entire court, and Joffrey agrees to give him mercy if he admits his wrongdoing and acknowledges Joffrey as the true king. Sansa says that she is sure he will
At his trial, Eddard Stark acknowledges his "crimes" and swears loyalty to King Joffrey Baratheon. To Sansa's utter shock and horror, Joffrey nevertheless orders Eddard's decapitation. Sansa is prevented from interfering and her father is killed before her eyes.
Days later, Sansa is in court and watches as Joffrey orders the removal of the tongue of the singer Marillion, who has written a song unfavorable to the royal family. Joffrey then takes Sansa to the traitor's walkway, where the severed heads of executed criminals are mounted on spikes along the castle walls. He draws Sansa's attention to the severed heads of her father and Septa Mordane. Sansa refuses to give Joffrey the satisfaction of seeing her upset and shows no emotional response. Joffrey tells her that executing Eddard was showing mercy, as he gave him a quick death, and he suggests that he will mount her brother Robb's head on the wall after defeating him. Sansa retorts that maybe Robb will take Joffrey's head instead. Furious, Joffrey has Ser Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard strike her. Joffrey tells Sansa that they are still to be married. Sansa contemplates pushing Joffrey off the walkway, but is subtly stopped by Sandor. After Joffrey and Meryn leave, Sandor gives her a cloth to attend to her cut lip and tells her that she will be needing it again
Sansa remains a captive of Queen Regent Cersei Lannister in King's Landing. She has learned to feign loyalty to King Joffrey Baratheon to avoid further abuse from him. She attends Joffrey's name day tournament and convinces him to spare Ser Dontos Hollard when he attends drunk.
Sansa is forced to sit through the Lannisters discussing killing her brother Robb Stark over dinner. She vents her frustration on her new handmaid Shae. When Robb wins a crushing victory at the Battle of Oxcross, Joffrey responds by having Sansa stripped and beaten in front of the court. Tyrion Lannister intervenes and offers to end her engagement to Joffrey, but she retains her facade of loyalty.
Sansa attends the departure of Princess Myrcella Baratheon for Dorne . She stands up to Joffrey when he mocks his brother Tommen for crying. As the royal party returns to the Red Keep Joffrey is struck by excrement thrown by the angry crowd. Joffrey causes a city wide riot by demanding that his guards kill all of the smallfolk present. Sansa is separated from the rest of the group and almost raped by a group of commoners. She is rescued by Sandor Clegane. Shae treats her injuries and Sansa tries to rationalize being attacked when she hates Joffrey more than anyone. Shae warns her not to say such things and to trust no-one.
Sansa has a nightmare that she is being stabbed by her attackers from the riots. She wakes up to find her mattress bloodied by the onset of her first period. Shae tries to help her conceal the evidence as it means she is ready to bear Joffrey's children. The Hound catches them and (reluctantly) informs the Queen. Cersei gives Sansa advice on motherhood, reassuring her that she will love her children if not her husband. She tells Sansa that the more people you love, the weaker you are. Stannis Baratheon sails his fleet into the bay outside King's Landing, triggering the Battle of the Blackwater. Sansa is summoned to the throne room to say goodbye to Joffrey. He forces her to kiss his new sword and she subtly undermines his bravado. She then takes refuge in Maegor's Holdfast with Shae; Cersei is hosting the women of the court there. She torments Sansa during the battle, mocking her faith, telling her that Ser Ilyn Payne is present to kill her if the walls are breached and drunkenly telling her to use her sexuality as a weapon. Cersei eventually storms out, believing the battle lost. Sansa attempts to keep the morale of the women up with prayers and singing. Shae tells Sansa to return to her chambers and bar her door to keep her safe should Stannis breach the keep. Sansa finds Sandor waiting for her inside. He tells her that he is going north and offers to take her with him. She is reluctant to leave the potential safety of being rescued by Stannis but he warns her that all men are killers. Stannis's force is ultimately defeated by a host of House Lannister and House Tyrell reinforcements led by Tywin Lannister.
Sansa attends court as Joffrey doles out rewards. Tywin is named Savior of the City and Hand of the King, Petyr Baelish is made Lord of Harrenhal and Loras Tyrell is allowed to name a favor from the king. He asks Joffrey to marry his sister Margaery. Joffrey asks Margaery if this is what she wants while Cersei looks at Sansa deviously. Joffrey says that he would be honored to return Margaery's love, but regrets that he is promised to Sansa. Cersei suggests Joffrey set Sansa aside because of her family's treachery. Joffrey accepts the betrothal. Joffrey states that he will her from this until his last day" - the same endearment he once offered Sansa. Sansa turns away, feigning sadness but allowing herself laughter once she has privacy. Her revelry is halted by Petyr consoling her; she pretends to be upset. Petyr crushes her hopes of freedom and warns her that her situation has worsened, as she will no longer have the token protection of becoming Joffrey's queen but will remain his captive. Petyr tells her that she reminds him of her mother and vows to help her return home. Sansa is reluctant to trust him and maintains her facade.
Baelish tells Sansa of a new role that he has taken which will allow him to leave King's Landing, and offers to smuggle her out of the city. She is hesitant about the idea. Margaery and her grandmother Olenna Tyrell invite her to lunch in the gardens, where they ask her about Joffrey. Sansa is initially too fearful to speak the truth, but soon admits that he is a "monster".
While she prays at the Red Keeps's godswood under guard, Margaery comes and talks to her, telling her that they should see Highgarden, the Tyrell home, together. Sansa replies that Cersei would never allow her to leave King's Landing. Margaery tells her that she could be a wife to Margaery's brother Loras Tyrell, to which Sansa is overjoyed. They go to see Loras during his swordplay practice, during which she admires him.
Loras and Sansa spend more time together in the following weeks, though Sansa is far more enthusiastic about their impending marriage than he is. Loras admits he's always wanted a big wedding with lots of guests, fancy food and a good tournament, though he only seems to remember that there will be a bride when Sansa gives him an expectant look. One subject where they do find common ground is their shared hatred of King's Landing, with Loras saying that King's Landing is "the most terrible place there is".
The plan to wed Sansa to Loras is scuppered when Cersei grows increasingly suspicious of the Tyrells and learns of the proposed marriage through Petyr Baelish, which prompts Tywin Lannister to instead arrange for Cersei and Tyrion to marry Loras and Sansa respectively, to curb the ambitions of House Tyrell and to bind two of the other great houses of the Seven Kingdoms closer to the Lannisters.
As she watches Littlefinger's ship depart for the Vale of Arryn, Sansa is devastated as she realises that both of her chances to leave King's Landing have gone, and she has no choice but to marry into the family that killed her father. However, Tyrion promises to Sansa that he will not mistreat her, and she concedes that there are worse Lannisters she could be wed to.
The wedding itself is an embarrassing affair. Joffrey smugly escorts Sansa to the altar in place of her father and removes the stool upon which Tyrion was to stand on to cloak Sansa in Lannister colours as part of the ceremony. Tyrion then spends the wedding feast becoming steadily more drunk while Joffrey hints that he plans to rape her. Joffrey is insistent on going ahead with the bedding ceremony despite his uncle's protestations, but Tyrion threatens that Joffrey will "be fucking his own bride with a wooden cock" if he doesn't let it drop. Tywin defuses the situation by dispensing with the bedding ceremony, and Tyrion takes Sansa out of the room before Joffrey can take it any further.
Tyrion realizes how unhappy Sansa is with him and their marriage, and reassures her that they will not consummate it unless she wants to, even if that means never. Shae is pleased to see that Sansa's bedsheets are unstained the morning after the wedding, as it means that Sansa remains a virgin. Sansa and her new husband actually get along rather well, sharing jokes and a common enemy in Joffrey. However, their cordial relationship suffers a crushing blow when Sansa receives news of the death of her mother and brother at the Red Wedding, an event orchestrated by Tyrion's father.
Sansa remains despondent over the deaths of her mother and brother. Despite encouragement from Shae and Tyrion, she refuses to eat, declining even lemon cakes. She tells Tyrion that she lies awake a night thinking of the brutal way in which Catelyn died, how Robb's body was desecrated, and how Catelyn's body was dumped into the river. Sansa excuses herself from the table, saying she is going to the godswood and reveals that she no longer prays; she is seeking solitude. While in the godswood, Sansa is watched by Jaime Lannister and Brienne, and later finds herself being followed by someone. Her pursuer corners her, turns out to be Dontos Hollard, whose life she had saved earlier. Dontos expresses his gratitude to Sansa for speaking on his behalf while no one else would and offers her a necklace that had once belonged to his mother, saying it is the last heirloom of House Hollard. Sansa turns it down at first, not wanting to take something with such sentimental value but after urging from Dontos says she will wear it with pride.
Sansa attends a breakfast held before the wedding of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. There, Joffrey is presented with a gift from Tywin Lannister; the second sword re-forged from Ice, the recently-destroyed ancestral sword of House Stark. Joffrey names his new weapon Widow's Wail, commenting that he will be reminded of Ned Stark's beheading each time he uses it. Sansa looks on in obvious grief. At the end of the wedding itself, Sansa comments bitterly that "we have a new queen." Tyrion encourages her to look on the bright side: at least she isn't queen. Later, at the wedding feast, Olenna walks up to Sansa to offer her condolences over the Red Wedding and invites her to visit Highgarden sometime when things settle down. During the exchange, Olenna toys with Sansa's hair in a grandmotherly fashion.
Meanwhile, Joffrey amuses himself with a farcical "reenactment" of the War of the Five Kings with each of the five kings being played by a dwarf. The dwarf playing Robb Stark wears a wolf's head that is eventually removed. Sansa again looks on in grief and at her encouragement, she and Tyrion attempt to leave, but Joffrey notices and names Tyrion his cup bearer in order to humiliate him further. Joffrey drops his goblet on purpose and then kicks it under the table when Tyrion tries to pick it up. Sansa, seemingly feeling pity for Tyrion, picks up the goblet and hands it to him. Later, as Joffrey lies dying from being poisoning, Dontos Hollard approaches Sansa and encourages her to leave in order to save her life, a suggestion Sansa takes to heart.
After the events of the Purple wedding, Sansa and Dontos make a quick escape and get on a boat, leaving the city. Dontos takes Sansa to a ship which turns out to be Petyr's ship. Petyr has Dontos killed to guarantee his silence. Sansa screams and asks why he killed Dontos. He states that Dontos was working solely for money, and that she is safe.
Petyr visits Sansa in her cabin and Sansa figures out that he had a hand in Joffrey's death. After he tries to deny it he just ends up telling her everything about the wedding, Sansa is confused because of everything that the Lannisters have done for him and tells him that she doesn't believe that he would risk his life just to confuse the Lannisters, he tells her that he would risk anything to get what he wants. She asks him what he wants and he vaguely says "everything".
Sansa and Petyr are walking towards the bloody gate and Petyr educates Sansa on the Eyrie and its defenses. Sansa uses the disguise as Petyr's niece so no one knows who she is. When they enter the main hall Sansa greets Lysa Arryn as Alayne but Lysa interrupts her saying that she knows who she is and she can't call her 'Aunt' in front of anyone apart from herself, Petyr, and Robin.
Lysa brings Sansa lemon cakes, and tells her that Petyr brought three crates from the capital for Sansa. She tells Sansa a story about Catelyn when she was young, getting fat off how much sweet food she had, which makes Sansa feel self conscious. She stops, but Lysa tells her to carry on. Lysa abruptly turns antagonistic, accusing her of having sex with Petyr. Sansa panics and tries to assure Lysa that she is a virgin. Lysa disregards this and grabs onto her hand and squeezes hard. Sansa starts crying while saying that all Petyr says that she is a stupid little girl, with stupid dreams, who never learns and is a terrible liar. Lysa then becomes nice and assures her that it is all alright and after Tyrion is executed she can marry her cousin Robin. Sansa is not sure what to make of this. After settling into the Eyrie, albiet with discomfort, Sansa wanders into the courtyards alone, as the snow falls around the vale. The snow, reminding her of home, prompts her to begin to construct a snow castle resembling Winterfell. She has a short-lived friendly conversation with Robin, before she snaps at him for messing up the castle, resulting in a heated confrontation that ends with Robin running into the castle, crying. Petyr presents himself shortly afterwards, and Sansa questions him as to why he really had Joffrey killed. She allows herself to smile slightly when he claims that he did it for Catelyn, the only woman he ever loved. Sansa is shocked when he kisses her directly on the lips, which Lysa witnesses. She summons Sansa to the courtroom, where she is standing over an open Moon Door. She begins to grow concerned when Lysa comments on how far the drop is to the ground. Lysa, enraged over Petyr's interest in Sansa, threatens to have her killed and nearly manages to push her out of the moondoor to her death, before Petyr intervenes. Sansa watches as he tells Lysa that he only ever loved Catelyn, before pushing her to her death.
Sansa, as "Alayne", is called to testify before Lord Yohn Royce, Lady Anya Waynwood, and Ser Vance Corbray. Sansa quickly reveals her true identity and relates the tale of her captivity and flight from King's Landing. She then proceeds to truthfully tell of Lysa's mental instability, jealousy and death, changing only a few details (she kissed Littlefinger on the cheek and Lysa threw herself through the Moon Door). Sansa breaks down in tears and the lords are convinced, but while none of them are looking, she gives Littlefinger a stony, almost triumphant gaze. Later, Baelish visits Sansa and asks why she lied on his behalf. Sansa explains that she has no idea what Royce and Waynwood would want from her if he were eliminated, but that she does know what it is that he wants. Later on, as Littlefinger and Robin prepare to depart on a tour of the Vale, Sansa accompanies them, appearing with noticeably darker reddish brown hair and garbed in a feathered black dress with a plunging neckline.
Sansa, still under the name of Alayne, attends a sword jousting session for Lord Robin at Runestone, along with Littlefinger and Yohn Royce, visibly unimpressed with Robin's weak skills at swordsmanship. Sansa notices how Littlefinger receives a raven message. Soon after, they leave Robin in the care of Lord Royce, for further training. On the carriage ride, Sansa questions Petyr as to why they are heading west when Lord Royce was told they would be traveling to the Fingers, unsure of his source of distrust. Petyr promises her that they are going somewhere far away, where Sansa will be safe from Queen Cersei.
On their journey, Sansa and Baelish stop for lunch at an inn, where she tries ale for the first time. Sansa can't see what all the fuss is about, although the entire episode is designed to catch Littlefinger off-guard so she can ask about the raven-message he received back at Runestone. Baelish doesn't answer the question beyond indicating that the old saying "dark wings, dark words" doesn't apply in this instance. Shortly thereafter, Brienne of Tarth materializes unexpectedly and declares herself for Sansa. Baelish doubts that Sansa would want a sworn shield who let both of her previous masters die, even when Brienne reveals the true, somewhat unbelievable circumstances of Renly's death. Sansa seems inclined to agree, pointing out that Brienne was present at Joffrey's wedding, to which the warrior replies that neither of them wanted to be there. Sansa rejects Brienne's offer of service and watches as she handily defeats the guards and escapes.
Sansa and Baelish eventually arrive at the ruins of Moat Cailin, where Sansa learns that they are actually returning to Winterfell and Baelish's plan is to have her marry Ramsay Bolton, the son of Roose Bolton, the current Warden of the North. Sansa is initially reluctant to marry into yet another family that betrayed hers, but Baelish pacifies her by claiming it will be an opportunity for her to avenge her family. They arrive at Winterfell, where Baelish introduces Sansa to the Boltons. Roose and Ramsay greet Sansa politely, and after a tense moment during which she is repulsed merely by looking at Roose, Sansa greets them with courtesy, while Myranda, Ramsay's bedwarmer and secret lover, eyes Sansa with jealousy. She is later brought back to her old room by a servant, who expresses joy at the presence of a Stark and tells her that "The North Remembers". While walking around, she unknowingly passes her childhood friend, Theon Greyjoy, who hides his face from her.
Settling in to life at Winterfell, Sansa visits the Stark family crypts, re-lighting the votive candles and cleaning up the offerings left by visitors prior to Winterfell's fall. Littlefinger finds her regarding the statue of her long-dead aunt Lyanna Stark. Littlefinger, with minimal commentary, tells Sansa of the events at the tourney at Harrenhal, where Rhaegar unhorsed Ser Barristan Selmy, passed by his wife, and gave Lyanna a crown of flowers blue as frost. He then tells Sansa that he's been recalled to King's Landing, and that keeping Cersei waiting much longer would be unwise. Littlefinger explains parts of his master plan to Sansa: Stannis Baratheon will inevitably take the North, and when he does, he will need a Stark at Winterfell, and would almost certainly declare Sansa the Wardeness of the North. Even if Stannis fails, Ramsay is already besotted with her, and thus Sansa, who has learned to manipulate from the very best, can take control of House Bolton from within.
Sansa’s maid brings a message to her. Consoling Sansa that she still has allies in the North, she tells Sansa to light a candle in the highest window of the Broken Tower if she's ever in trouble. As Sansa wanders around the castle, she runs into Ramsay's bedwarmer Myranda. Myranda puts on a friendly façade, talking to Sansa about her mother’s demise. To help Sansa “remember” how things used to be before her family's death, Myranda leads Sansa down to the kennels, where Sansa finds Reek, formerly Theon Greyjoy, asleep in one of the cages. Awoken by Sansa’s arrival, he just shakes his head, when Sansa calls him Theon. He warns her that she shouldn’t be down there. Seeing Reek in such a pitiable condition, Sansa angrily storms away.
At dinner, Ramsay is initially well-behaved, toasting his wedding to Sansa, but is soon back to his old ways as he forces Reek to apologize to Sansa for murdering Bran and Rickon. With much difficulty, Reek finally mutters an apology. He then suggests that Reek be the one to give Sansa away at the wedding, since he is the closest thing Sansa has to a kin and Roose accepts this suggestion. Roose and Walda announce Walda's pregnancy, upsetting Ramsay, which in turn delights Sansa.
On the night of her wedding, Myranda draws a bath for Sansa, during which she advises Sansa not to bore Ramsay, and cites several other women such as Violet and Tansy, all of whom Ramsay murdered, as examples. When Myranda mentions that both she and Ramsay killed Tansy by hunting her, Sansa becomes angry and boldly asks Myranda how long she has been in love with Ramsay and if she really expected Ramsay to marry her. She coolly tells Myranda that she is a Stark of Winterfell and will not be intimidated by the likes of her, and dismisses her to finish her bath herself, though she is visibly shaken by Myranda's story.
Later, when Theon comes to fetch Sansa for the wedding, she refuses to hold Theon’s arm, even after he pleads her to, saying that Ramsay will punish him if she doesn’t. Reek then gives Sansa away to Ramsay, and they wed in front of the Godswood. After retreating to the bedroom, Ramsay asks Sansa to take her clothes off. Reek is about to leave but Ramsay tells him he must stay. Ramsay quips to Reek: "You grew up with her as a girl, now watch her become a woman." Annoyed by Sansa's hesitance, he pushes her face-down over the side of the bed and angrily rips open the back of her dress. As he unbuckles his clothes, Sansa obediently remains still but begins crying softly. Reek is visibly distraught and begins silently crying himself, as Ramsay proceeds to roughly consummate their marriage.
Over the next few days, Ramsay has continued to force himself on Sansa every night, leaving bruises on her arms and body, and she effectively becomes a prisoner of the Boltons, who keep her locked in her bedchamber. Reek brings her breakfast, and when she realizes he is there, she tries to talk to him and get him to help her, reminding him that he is Theon Greyjoy, son and heir of Balon Greyjoy, Lord of the Iron Islands. She asks Reek what Ramsay did to him, and aggressively reminds him that he betrayed her family, but that he can still redeem himself by lighting a candle in the broken tower in order to signal the Starks' allies she was told about. During a walk on the battlements, Ramsay gloats that one day he will be the Warden of the North with Sansa as his Wardeness. Sansa counters by telling him his position is still threatened by Roose and Walda's unborn son, since Ramsay is technically bastard-born and was only legitimized by King Tommen Baratheon, who Sansa asserts is another bastard. Ramsay responds by saying that even bastards can rise high in the world, such as Sansa's own bastard half-brother Jon Snow, who was recently elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Sansa is surprised by this development, having not considered what became of Jon. As they descend into the courtyard, Sansa pockets a corkscrew while Ramsay reveals that Reek reported the candle to him, and Ramsay responded by flaying Sansa's elderly maid and forcing Sansa to view the corpse. She is then ordered back to her chambers.
Sansa remains angry at Theon for his betrayal, as well his role in Bran and Rickon's murder. When Theon enters her chambers again to bring her latest meal, she demands an answer for his latest betrayal and coldly expresses approval when he tells her about the torture Ramsay put him through. Theon shamefully admits he deserved it as he did terrible things, specifically killing "those boys". Enraged by his reference seemingly to her brothers as "those boys" rather than Bran and Rickon, Sansa vehemently demands to know why they should be dead while he still breathes the air, forcing Theon to finally admit that they were not in fact Bran and Rickon, only two farm boys. Stunned by this admission, her anger towards Theon cools but when she asks if he knows where they might have gone to, he breaks down and leaves the room. However, Sansa appears to be left with a sense of renewed hope by the revelation that she still has surviving family left.
During the battle between the Boltons and Stannis Baratheon, Sansa attempts to escape by picking the lock on her door and lighting the candle in the tower, however, Brienne and Podrick don't see the candle due to being distracted by Stannis' army. In the process of trying to escape, Sansa runs into the Myranda and Theon, with Myranda aiming a bow at her. She claims that Ramsay will only need her for her 'parts' to make an heir and that he doesn't need her in one piece for that, presuming that Ramsay will hurt her. As Myranda volunteers to start the torture process, Theon makes her miss her shot and throws Myranda over the battlement, killing her instantly on impact. Theon and Sansa then escape Winterfell by jumping off the side of Winterfell's walls, with Sansa's fate left uncertain due to whether or not she and Theon survive the fall.
After escaping from Winterfell, Sansa and Theon flee into the Wolfswood, the Bolton forces in hot pursuit. They cross a stream and briefly take shelter under an uprooted tree, where Theon hugs Sansa to keep her warm. Later, however, they are found by the Bolton men and hounds. Theon urges Sansa to flee to Jon Snow at Castle Black, but she refuses to leave without him and is found when Theon's ruse is discovered. Brienne and Podrick appear and fight the soldiers, killing them all. Brienne once again offers her service to Sansa, who this time readily accepts.
On the way to Castle Black, Brienne reveals to Sansa how she briefly met Arya near the Bloody Gate. Sansa is delighted to hear that her sister is still alive and well. Theon decides to part from the group and head towards the Iron Islands. Sansa implores him to accompany them to Castle Black and join the Night's Watch so his crimes will be forgiven and Jon will protect them from Ramsay, promising that she will tell Jon the truth about Bran and Rickon, but Theon reminds her that he also killed two farm boys and Ser Rodrik Cassel, for which Jon will never forgive him. Sansa bids him farewell, and two the share a tender hug.
After leaving Theon, Sansa, Brienne and Podrick arrive at Castle Black where she is reunited with her recently-resurrected brother Jon. At first too stunned to even speak when they see each other, the siblings embrace for a long hug. As Jon offers Sansa food, they reminisces about their happy childhood and how they both regret ever leaving Winterfell. Sansa apologizes to Jon for her dismissive treatment of him while growing up. She then asks him to help her reclaim their home from the Boltons. However, Jon tells her that he is tired of fighting, that he had done nothing but fight since he left the Starks behind, and that he was killed for it. Although Sansa appears to accept his choice, she tells him that she will reclaim Winterfell and the North, with or without his help.
As Sansa and Jon share a meal with Eddison Tollett, Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne, a messenger arrives from Winterfell with a letter from Ramsay. As the new Lord of Winterfell (having murdered his father Roose Bolton), he demands that Jon turn over the wildlings and Sansa. He reveals that he now holds their younger brother Rickon as his prisoner and that, if Jon refuse to accept his demands, he will harm him and offer Sansa to his soldiers when he gets his hands on her again. Sansa insists that they must take the fight to him with the help of the wildlings. Tormund tells them that they have only two thousand men and women in shape to fight, not enough to match Ramsay's five thousand. Sansa refuses to be discouraged and tells Jon that, as Ned Stark's last living son, he can count on the loyalty of the Northern Houses. Jon reluctantly agrees to help Sansa reclaim Winterfell and save Rickon.
Later, Sansa receives a letter from Petyr asking to meet in Mole's Town. Accompanied by Brienne, they meet in a ruined house, and Sansa angrily tells Baelish the details of her wedding night, asking if he knew the truth about Ramsay all along. Instead, Baelish changes the subject, informing Sansa he has rallied the knights of the Vale to help her, along with news that her great-uncle Brynden has recaptured Riverrun. Though she takes an alliance with the Blackfish into consideration, Sansa refuses help from Baelish, warning him never to speak to her again.
At a war meeting at Castle Black, Sansa and Jon discuss which of the Northern houses they can rely on to support them. As the Karstarks and Umbers have already sided with House Bolton, Ser Davos suggests asking House Manderly. When Jon decides to rally the two dozen houses still loyal to the Starks, Sansa informs him they can add House Tully to the list, but lies about how she acquired the information.
After the meeting, Sansa plans to send Brienne to Riverrun, as the Boltons could intercept any raven sent there. Brienne is worried about leaving her alone, but Sansa assures her she trusts Jon and will be safe with him. Unconvinced, Brienne counters by asking Sansa why she lied to Jon about meeting with Baelish.
Before riding south, Sansa gives Jon a new cloak styled after their father's.
Sansa and Jon arrive at Bear Island and are summoned before Lyanna Mormont. Jon asks for the assistance of House Mormont in the upcoming battle for Winterfell, reminding her that House Mormont has always served the King in the North whose name is Stark. Lyanna, however, tells him that he is a Snow and Sansa is a Bolton. Sansa says that she did what she had to do, but she didn't want it. Lyanna ignores this. Ser Davos, however, manages to get Lyanna to pledge her allegiance, telling of the coming threat of the White Walkers.
Sansa and Jon again travel to Deepwood Motte, to ask for the assistance of House Glover. They receive a frosty reception from Robett Glover, who has just reclaimed Deepwood Motte from the Ironborn. Sansa points out that the Glovers were pledged to House Stark, but Robett says he pledged to Stark and it cost him his home.
Sansa and Jon are only able to recruit a few Northern houses and only gain a few hundred men. Jon says they should strike Winterfell immediately, before Ramsay can gather more men. Sansa says they should try and recruit more houses. When Jon refuses to change his mind, Sansa later writes a letter to an unknown party.
Sansa and Jon meet with Ramsay Bolton on the eve of battle. He does his best to taunt Sansa, but she remains stoic throughout. She asks if he truly has her brother Rickon, knowing what a liar he is; when Ramsay throws over the decapitated head of Shaggydog. Her final words to Ramsay before leaving were: "You're going to die tomorrow Lord Bolton, Sleep well".
As the battle is nearing an end and all hope seems lost, a distant horn is heard sounding in the distance. House Arryn arrives to help Jon and his army reclaim Winterfell. It is now obvious that it was Petyr Baelish who Sansa had sent the Raven to; requesting more men that was very much needed. Without Sansa's foresight it is most likely that Jon and the rest of his men would not have survived the battle.
Sansa's naïveté didn't help her in King's Landing, where her former fiancé, Joffrey Baratheon, routinely abused her. After her engagement to Joffrey was dissolved, Sansa was married to his uncle Tyrion Lannister, who treated her with the utmost respect. She fled to the Eyrie with Littlefinger's help after Joffrey's murder, and protected him following the murder of her aunt Lysa. Sansa returned to Winterfell to marry Ramsay Bolton, but fled the castle with Theon Greyjoy during Stannis Baratheon's failed attack. Brienne of Tarth came to their rescue during their escape, and she now serves as Sansa's protector. Sansa reunited with her half-brother Jon Snow at Castle Black. The siblings took back Winterfell in the Battle of the Bastards, thanks to Sansa's successful recruitment of the Knights of the Vale.
When she lived at Winterfell with her family, Sansa grew up as the eldest daughter of a Great House, trying to emulate her mother's example of a "proper lady" from the southern courts. Sansa's devotion to the traditional, refined "feminine virtues" caused friction between her and her blunt, tomboyish younger sister Arya. As a little girl Sansa naively believed in the tales and epic romances in which every princess gets her honorable knight in shining armor to sweep her off her feet. Sansa was infatuated with the traditional romances about mythical figures like Jonquil, and historical figures like Duncan, the Prince of Dragonflies). Her greatest goal in life was to be married to a handsome prince, and sitting around gossiping with other noblewoman eating lemon cakes while gossiping about the goings-on at court.
Sansa's innocent infatuation with ideals of princesses and knights - perfectly understandable for a 13 year old girl - made her tragically susceptible to the manipulations of the Lannisters. She held the blind belief that all queens and princes are kind and truthful, as if inherently a result of their titles - when Cersei just happened to be a woman who married a king to secure a marriage alliance, and Joffrey just happened to be her son. Without real cause, she blindly loved Joffrey with all her heart, and trusted and admired Cersei, only for them to repay her love and trust by beheading her father before her very eyes.
Afterwards Sansa has a harrowing experience as a prisoner of the Lannisters, at plaything for the psychotic Joffrey to have publicly beaten by his guards for petty amusement. Her shock at the death of her father was only later deepened at the news of how her mother and brother Robb were horrifyingly killed at the Red Wedding and their corpses desecrated.
Sansa subsequently escapes King's Landing to the Vale with Littlefinger, and her experiences have clearly changed her personality. She had to learn from painful experience how to lie to survive at Joffrey's court, saying one thing but meaning another and manipulating people to her own ends as best she could. No longer under constant control by Joffrey and Cersei's guards, she is in her own way beginning to mature into her own power and influence as a political force. The numerous tragedies she has suffered, however, the crimes against herself and her family, have also darkened her personality: she has learned that she will need to be ruthless in order to survive.