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Sansa Is Playing the Game of Thrones for Keeps in Season 8

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WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere, "Winterfell."

No one in Game of Thrones has exactly had an easy time of it. Even the easiest journeys have included countless murders and unspeakable violence. But few characters in the world of Westeros have been forced to contend with as many complications as Sansa Stark.

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But what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, and the premiere of Season 8 reintroduced Sansa Stark as one of the most brilliant players in the titular Game of Thrones. She's able to see through allies and accurately predict enemies to an almost frightening degree. Sansa has become the low-key MVP of the entire conflict, and could be the key to uniting (or splintering) the armies of man.

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Sansa Stark Game of Thrones

It's important to remember that Sansa didn't always stand out as such. Jon's more simplistic view of his sister comes from past experiences and doesn't take into account all of the troubles Sansa has had to contend with. This has included being betrothed to Joffrey even after he had her father executed, almost being sexually assaulted repeatedly by various parties, being accused of murdering Joffrey and forced into hiding before eventually being sold off to Ramsay Bolton (who actually did sexually assault her). It's been a rough couple of years when the best period of your adolescence was arguably being forced into marriage with a man decades older than you.

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But her experiences have made Sansa thick-skinned and hard to faze. She has observed power players in their elements and learned from them, even the ones she hates. Cersei, Ramsay and Littlefinger all taught her how to play the Game of Thrones, and she managed to straight up outplay two of them to their deaths. She is prepared for anything, especially a foreign queen that her brother has been hooking up with.

Sansa Stark Game of Thrones season 7

This tact is on display in the season premiere, with Sansa coldly seeing through Daenerys' attempts at flattery. She's not here to befriend Daenerys, or even strictly to work with her. When Daenerys tries to cite the strength of her armies as cause for celebration, Sansa is the one quick to remind her (and by extension, the rest of the North) that Winterfell is not prepared to feed the "greatest army in history." It's a pragmatic approach to the coming wars with the White Walkers, and may pale in comparison to that ever approaching threat. It's a reality they're going to have to face at some point or another.

NEXT PAGE: Sansa Has Exceeded Even Tyrion's Cunning

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