In the end, Game of Thrones was about the different possible leaders who could lead the continent of Westeros. The Night King, the Lord of the Light, the magic of the Wall, the Children of the Forest, all over by Episode 3, "The Long Night." As Tyrion dryly noted to Davos, "We have to survive us." Many were rooting for Daenerys to take the throne, but she wasn’t the only Queen in contention. Sansa Stark has always had her supporters, and in the final hour of the series, it looked like she might be a real possibility. But alas, instead, Sansa become Queen in the North. Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 follow.
In the end, Sansa made choices that were strategically in her favor. She’s seen how the Game of Thrones is played, and she’s quite aware the person who takes the throne could have a target on their back unless they have the respect of everyone. She might have liked to have been a contender, but Lady Olenna taught her much, namely that having someone who will support your aims on the throne is the better option.
So when the time came, she voted, not for herself, but for someone she knew commanded respect due to his status of the oldest living son of a high born lord. Someone who would let her rule the North in peace, and possibly allow Jon Snow to go as well: Bran.
But where does that leave Sansa? Why, right where she wants to be, looking after Winterfell. Sansa doesn’t want to be Queen of Westeros. There are six kingdoms she has zero interest in. All she wants in the North. It’s all she’s ever wanted.
This is where the Battle of Winterfell does make a difference. While the rest of the highborn vote for Bran without hesitation, Sansa pauses. The North saved them, the North deserves to be an independent kingdom, as it has been for thousands of years. And despite the side eye, no one says boo.
Bran is going to give that to her. Not just in name only, like the Wardens of the North had from the Targaryens, but for real. Give back the North to the North and let the Lady of Winterfell rule. All hail, the Queen in the North.
Out of everyone who was left at the end of the series, Sansa was almost certainly the wisest and most politically savvy player in the game. She earned that kingdom, and the right to rule it.
Tyrion made that possible by suggested Bran and giving a speech that got him elected. (To be fair, Bran seemed to have a good idea this was how things would turn out, which is why he agreed to travel to King’s Landing in the first place.) And with that, Sansa got what she wanted, a crown, a throne, and none of the problems of having to care about Dornish characters. Bran would be Lord of the Six Kingdoms. The seventh was all her own.
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