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With the seventh season of HBO's hit fantasy show Game of Thrones fast approaching, tensions are rising. With a highly anticipated battle against the White Walkers and the ever-present question of who will claim the Iron Throne, alliances are falling as fast as they are forming. Arya is on her way back to Winterfell, Jaime Lannister may be the one to finally kill Cersei, and Daenerys may finally meet her nephew, Jon Snow. But there's one alliance that currently balances on the edge of a knife, impossible to tear your eyes away from. #JonSnow and #SansaStark's alliance will affect the fate of Westeros, but just how strong is it?
This is one of the most heated discussions in the Thrones world right now. Many have faith that Jon and Sansa will put any differences aside and work together for the greater good. They are family, after all, and there's no question they care deeply for each other. But with perspectives that can differ greatly and outside figures playing manipulative games, could Sansa turn on Jon? Many think this is a likely possibility. Let's take a look at the facts.
Sansa is not only underestimated, but undervalued.
Let's call a spade a spade. Even if you are the biggest Sansa Stark supporter, it's likely that you weren't from the first episode. Even if you didn't hate her in Season 1, you probably had some issues with her. Let's face it: Sansa is not that same little girl anymore. She has faced and overcome more brutalities than many characters. She has not only become stronger, but smarter, and yet she is still viewed as that naive child who doesn't know what she's talking about. And the sad thing is, even Jon still brushes her off.
Before the #BattleoftheBastards, Sansa tries to give Jon her input. She knows Ramsay better than he does — she's witnessed him in action — but Jon doesn't listen to her. Partially, perhaps, because he doesn't want her to get hurt by being too involved, but partially because he doesn't believe in her. However, without Sansa, House Stark would have lost the battle.
Without the support of the Vale, which they had thanks to Sansa, Ramsay would have won. But Sansa does not receive any of the glory. In fact, even though she is the rightful heir to Winterfell, it is Jon that is named not only Lord, but King in the North. I doubt Sansa harbors any ill-will towards Jon, but it was clear in the season finale that she wasn't happy. She might begin to resent Jon, and can we blame her? After all, the only reason Winterfell is hers and not his, really, is because he's a man. It isn't Jon's fault, but she must be asking herself why he didn't stick up for her. And while he isn't, there's one person in her life who continually does...
Littlefinger is her biggest supporter.
Some hate Petyr and Sansa together, some love them. Sansa herself seems to bounce back and forth between the two. He showed her the ropes in King's Landing, even helped her escape. Had it not been for him, she would have still been there now. At least, her corpse would be. But Sansa is not the same ignorant girl she once was. She knows what Littlefinger is capable of. She said it best herself:
"You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family, and you gave me to other monsters who murdered my family."
She even admits to Jon that only a fool would truly trust Littlefinger. He plays the game well, and he thrives on chaos. But as manipulative and unpredictable as he is, there are some traits we know to be true. Petyr Baelish can be the most powerful and useful of allies, and one extremely dangerous enemy. If Sansa plays her cards right, and keeps her guard up, he could be much more helpful than harmful. Sophie Turner had an interesting insight into the complicated relationship:
"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."
In the newest trailer, we see Littlefinger encouraging her to step up and take her rightful place.
"Your father and brothers are gone, yet here you stand. Last best hope against the coming storm."
He's looking out for himself, not for her. However, he does have a solid point. Sansa deserves much more than she's getting. Let's not forget someone Petyr always had a soft spot for: Catelyn Stark. Sansa is much like her mother, in more than just appearance. She has Cat's wild fierceness and unyielding stubbornness. She's brave, smart and beautiful. Though he cares for himself more, Littlefinger does care for Sansa. More than that, he's seen her grow and constantly acknowledges it. He has learned not to underestimate her, he's admitted that he pictures them ruling on the Iron Throne together. Someone like Petyr by her side, in some ways more of a guarantee than Jon, seems like the smarter option. However, Starks do not lose loyalty easily.
Sansa has never betrayed her family before.
One of House Stark's strongest traits is loyalty. Family is everything, and this was a lesson Sansa learned the hard way, early on. Much of her family was torn away from her, and I think many people forget what she had to see. Unlike Arya, Sansa watched as her father was beheaded, on the same platform on which she stood. She may have thought she loved Joffrey in the beginning, but not once did she betray her family for him. And as the seasons passed, her loyalty grew stronger. When she was finally reunited with Jon this season, the pure relief and love was obvious in her face. She even stepped up and apologized for her behavior as a child.
Some look at Sansa as someone who is not to be trusted. But who has she actually, truthfully betrayed? Only two people: Joffrey and Ramsay. The men who forced her into marriages, murdered her family and abused her. Not once has she betrayed any member of her family. No matter her differences with Jon, no matter how anyone tries to manipulate her, she has learned how important family is, and she wouldn't let go of that lightly. The only reason she has ever crossed someone is when they have crossed her. Besides, she has been taken advantage of more than most. Unfortunately, this may only cause a further rift between herself and Jon.
Jon and Sansa could have extremely different end goals.
Jon, being declared King in the North, has made his perspective very clear. He firmly believes that the most important battle, the most dangerous enemy and the war they should be focusing on is not of that for the Iron Throne, but against the White Walkers. He isn't wrong. Houses will rise and fall, but ultimately the Walkers could wipe out all life. Sansa does understand this, or at least, she sees how deeply Jon believes it. But, the truth is, she's never seen a Walker, and she has scores of her own to settle. Ones that Jon almost definitely won't want to take part in.
Sansa hasn't explicitly stated what she wants, but I doubt it's the Iron Throne. No, if anything, Sansa yearns for respect and for justice — for her family and for herself. The Lannisters, particularly Cersei, will be high on that list. And Littlefinger, having now publicly declared himself for House Stark, will be only too willing to help Sansa. How far she is willing to go is not yet certain, but this difference in priorities could cause a divide between Jon and her. However, if rumors can be believed and there is a Stark family reunion on the horizon, it could change the outcome. Bran would undoubtedly side with Jon, but Arya wants justice as much as Sansa.
So, where does that leave us? To be truthful, there are too many variables, especially those we don't know, to make an accurate decision. Thrones is, after all, known for its plot twists. However, one outcome does seem more likely than any other: Sansa and Jon's paths will break apart. There is a strong chance that the two will drift apart, and that she will leave him, but it won't be a betrayal. Sansa cares far too much about her family to ever betray them. Their differences, however, might leave them no choice but to part. And honestly, it might be the best thing for the both of them.