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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Game of Thrones (2011) - Sansa Stark and Lord Baelish - Twisted or Deadly?

Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark - who could imagine?
Among all the twisted relationships on GoT, the one that develops between teenager Sansa Stark and 40-something Lord Petyr Baelish is considered to be the most creepy and complex relationship of all. Season 5 shows a more mature Sansa Stark who finally starts learning the art of deceit from Petyr Baelish i.e. Littlefinger. She finds an ally in him and some part of her knows that he has vested interests in protecting her.

Does Sansa Love Petyr Baelish?

While Sansa doesn't know Baelish's end-game, she clearly sees that he is her best chance at survival and probably, even revenge.
  • After Baelish kisses her at the Vale, she realizes that he fancies her - mainly because in her, he sees her mother Catelyn Stark - the one woman he truly loved and never had, and partly because of his own complicated feelings towards her. 
  • Either ways, Sansa knows that Baelish has a plan for himself and her, and would stop at nothing to safeguard her, especially after he cold-bloodedly pushes his own wife Lysa (her aunt) out of the moon-door when she tries to kill Sansa out of jealousy and anger. 
Baelish: You are more beautiful than she (your mother) ever was.
Sansa: (hesitating) Lord Baelish..
Baelish: Call me Petyr.. (kisses Sansa)
  • With no friends or family to turn to, Sansa knows that Baelish is the only person who can keep her safe, no matter how cunning and evil he may be. After all, a known devil is so much better. 
  • It is this wisdom that makes Sansa give false testimony to the Vale Council, to cover up Baelish's murder of her aunt and his wife Lysa. Finally, she starts to understand how the game is played.
Sansa starts to play the game

Does Petyr Baelish Love Sansa Stark?

Baelish, of course, has a larger scheme and Sansa is one of his biggest pawns for getting control of the North. 
  • He is a sociopath who manipulates things to fit his needs - there is no doubt he loves power and position. As Lord Varys aptly puts it - "Littlefinger loves Littlefinger".
  • Petyr Baelish himself tells Sansa in the crypts of Winterfell that she should try to work her magic on her future husband Ramsay Bolton; that before long, Stannis will march on Winterfell and defeat the Boltons, after which she would be made the Wardeness of the North. He promises to return for her soon after his work in King's Landing is complete.
  • And if you have noticed, she no longer cringes when Baelish kisses her again, this time down in the crypt. She even says - "By the time you return, I will be a married woman". So, it looks like she doesn't really object to the twisted nature of their relationship.
Sansa and Petyr Baelish in the crypts of Winterfell
  • Baelish sees Sansa as a naive young girl who he can mentor, mould and manipulate, so that one day she will help him get what he wants - power over majority of Westeros. She was the heir to Winterfell and had already gained favour with the Tyrells, if they were to come to power in case the Lannisters fell.
  • Somewhere within his sinister motives, there is an undeniable attraction he feels towards her. You see, even a sociopath has his weakness. 
  • If you remember, when Baelish had Joffrey killed to gain favour with the Tyrells, he took a huge risk to get Sansa rescued from the scene of the wedding/murder and away from King's Landing.
  • Baelish's interest in Sansa is seen from the very start, right from the day of the Knight's Tournament, in which he tries to come across as a well-wisher and close friend of her mother Catelyn Stark. Of course, the nature of his interest was not clear at the time.

Plans Gone Wrong?

Unfortunately, Baelish does know that Ramsay is a psychopath. Sansa once again becomes the tortured toy, this time in the hands of Ramsay. Raped and imprisoned in her room for many days, she somehow manages to sway Theon Greyjoy (her father's ward and now Ramsay's tortured slave) and both of them finally jump to their escape right before Ramsay returns from his battle with Stannis.

Sansa darling, you will rule the north one day.
Though in this case, Baelish exploited Sansa to keep his Northern connections with the Boltons, he clearly did not foresee this level of misery for Sansa.

Possibilities for Season 6?

Season 6 should hopefully show us a lot more of the Sansa-Baelish connection. Clearly, Sansa has grown a lot from being the stupid, innocent, tormented girl in King's Landing to a cynical, shrewd young woman who is learning the tricks of politics and is trying to make the best of her situation.

If Sansa and Baelish cross paths again (which I hope they do in Season 6), they would make a deadly combination without a doubt.

Theory 1:
  • If you take out the creepy aspect of their relationship (he loving the daughter of Catelyn Stark, his ex-beloved who rejected him), they are perfect to use each other for their own benefits - she can use him for her protection as well as to get vengeance against the Lannisters, while he can gain control of the North through her.
  • In spite of his political motives, the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Not to forget how both of them go out of their way to rescue each other - he smuggling her out of King's Landing and killing his crazy wife Lysa, she covering up his murder of Aunt Lysa in front of the Vale Council. 
Theory 2:
  • The other interesting possibility would be Sansa finally learning that it was Baelish who had betrayed her father Ned Stark, by making him to believe that Jon Arryn was killed by the Lannisters to cover up their incestuous secrets, eventually leading Ned Stark to his doom.
  • If Sansa ever learnt the truth, we hope that she is smart enough to not reveal it and exploit Baelish's weakness for her to lead him to his downfall. After all, Baelish himself said - "Once you know what a person wants, you can manipulate him easily."
Whichever way their relationship go in the future seasons, Sansa and Baelish have a very promising possibility, either as allies or as the femme fatale exacting her revenge on the charming master of the games.

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