As I caught up on the latest season of Game of Thrones, I started thinking about the character that I like the best now. It was surprising, even to me, that Sansa was my top pick.

When I first started reading the books years ago, Sansa was the worst. She gave me the constant feeling of wanting to slap someone. So naive, so starry-eyed.

And now I wonder if my rage was because of how much of my past self I saw in her. I have been naive. I have been starry-eyed. I have wished for things to be fairy tale-like. Sansa was the parts of myself I didn’t like.

Throughout the series, Sansa suffers. Even more in the TV series, compared to the books, I think (I started watching at season 6).

And yet, after it’s all over, instead of continuing to see herself as a victim, she chooses to see her suffering as something that has made her stronger.

When I started finally started watching the TV series, Sansa is back at Winterfell with Jon, and she is no longer the same girl.

In episode four of the latest season, Sansa has a conversation with the Hound, who tells her that she would have “been safe” if she had left King’s Landing with him.

“Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life,” she says.

She’s become tougher, without being hard. She’s now a lot more cunning, without being bitter.

She’s a true player in the game now. And I’d be happy to even be a little like her.

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