The tonnage episode von the eighth und final season des Game des Thrones möchte air on may 19. For the show’s obsessive fans, the end of the series möchte be bittersweet, and also, stop be honest, a relief. Yet hopefully we can all finally admit die following: Sansa stark has been die most underestimated character des the show.

Sansa, played über Sophie Turner, has actually had ns most interesting, if quiet und subtle, personality development des anyone in the series. Ned Stark’s enlarge daughter has gone from an innocent but shallow teen with delusions des royalty kommen sie a quiet, resolute leader who has actually survived much more horrific things than you kann imagine. V it all, she worn produziert allegiances and defiance quite literally on produziert sleeves.

Costume designer Michele Clapton, that created the costumes zum most of the collection (she summary departed during season sechs to entwurf for Netflix’s The Crown), liberally weaves symbolism into ns characters’ costumes und accessories. She so makes large statements when the occasion calls zum it, choose with Daenerys Targaryen’s internet-breaking white hair coat in season seven.

The zeigen has developed a welt that counts on color and symbols (all those home sigils!) zu tell ns story, und it’s carried through to die characters’ wardrobe in painstaking detail. Clapton functioned with a team von artisans, including embroiderers and armorers, kommen sie bring die series’ comprehensive storyline zu life.

Sansa presents an especially interesting situation study due to the fact that she’s had so many influences und absorbed deswegen much from other characters. She also, as Clapton tells me, to know how zu sew and embroider und so perhaps has been able, an ext than any other character, kommen sie send extremely mitarbeiter messages via herstellung clothing. Here’s precisely how produziert wardrobe und styling tells produziert story, broken down into 4 eras des Sansa:

Winterfell and early king’s Landing

In the zuerst season, Sansa is incredibly naive, with aspirations of being a queen und dreams of escaping die chilly, dank an castle bei provincial Winterfell und presumably, the dirty, shapeless furs she wears there. Conveniently, the show establishes early on that Sansa mögen to embroider, dafür that sets herstellung up zum many an ext seasons of sending stitched eff-yous zu various people.

Sansa bei Winterfell, season one. HBO
Catelyn Stark, season two. HBO
In the erste season at Winterfell, Sansa wears a gewächs of irradiate blue und gray, nods to both sides of produziert heritage. Die gray is practical und the blue can signify her mom’s family, the Tullys, who live at the intersection von two rivers. Sansa’s mom, Catelyn, was fond of fish clasps.

“You instantly recognize she’s trying zu elevate herself. She’s constantly had this idea the she’s far better — she aspired zu be a queen,” Clapton says. Ns knots you seen along ns bodice von several dresses are supposed kommen sie be wenig rough-hewn, but with aspirations von something fancier.

Sansa Stark, played von Sophie Turner, an Game von Thrones season one, wearing unstable roses. HBO ns stitching on her gowns ist heavy on woodsy motifs, and dragonflies nur up frequently, as detailed von Michele Carragher, ns show’s embroiderer. The symbol appears in many des Sansa’s outfits throughout numerous of her incarnations, including in jewelry, embroidery, and clasps. Fans have theorized the this is a reference zu a tale within die GoT world about the Prince des Dragonflies, a story about a Targaryen and a commoner called Jenny. Favor all love stories in Westeros, it does not end well (the prince gives trost his title kommen sie marry Jenny und then dies), but young Sansa, before she meets ns sadistic könig Joffrey und the so sadistic Ramsay Bolton, was a romantic. Regardless, die dragonfly ist a creature that ist both fragile und known for the unique way it navigates die world, so it’s a good metaphor for Sansa.

After Sansa gets zu King’s Landing, when she still thinks she going kommen sie marry Joffrey, she starts kommen sie adopt ns elaborate hairstyles des the ladies at court, including Joffrey’s mother, Cersei. Together Turner told Refinery 29, this is a pattern: “Sansa’s hair ist constantly reflecting ns people she’s finding out from, or mimicking, or inspired über at die time.” the goes zum the costumes too.

Queen Regent Cersei has actually a substantial impact ~ above Sansa: sartorially, yes, but so by helping Sansa establish that ns royals space basically a bunch of conniving, sneaky people. She learns their ways, which includes styling heavy draped fabrics through metallic belts und pulling her hair zurück with a skinny loose twist.

Cersei’s signature look, season two. HBO
Sansa through Cersei styling, season two. HBO
At this point, Sansa usually becomes a prisoner, und her dresses readjust from blue zu mauve. According zu Clapton, the a shade meant kommen sie help Sansa protect against scrutiny.

“They kill produziert father and she hovers about trying notfall to be seen. That’s when ns red von Cersei and the blues of herstellung homeland turned into die mauve. Ich think mauve zu sein a shade that hovers, so she’s an mauve zum a lang time, trying kommen sie be invisible and not trying to express herself, except through her embroidery,” says Clapton.

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It fits unique into die narrative von Sansa surviving by relying ~ above “strategic passivity,” together’s Aja Romano explained it. Zu sein there anything an ext passive 보다 mauve? apparently not.

Two weddings and bei escape from king Landing

After Sansa realizes that maybe Cersei ist not a good role model and doesn’t oase her finest interests weist heart, she becomes friendly through Margaery, die savvy Tyrell who wants zu marry Joffrey zu realize herstellung own royal ambitions. Margaery is an competition with Cersei for overall king Landing hotness and so as die primary target for Joffrey’s affections (normal mother-son stuff), deswegen it makes sense for Sansa zu be intrigued by her. Anyone who can outsmart Cersei seems prefer a good bet.

Margaery und Sansa an season three, talking around future husbands and how to use roses together accessories, probably. HBO To hammer home ns point, Sansa’s facility family freund Littlefinger notices that Margaery has actually become bei influencer for in audience of one. “Your hair is different. Lady Margaery attract it the way,” he tells Sansa. Yet please klasse that Sansa ist still, even in season three, leaning right into dragonflies, as seen on die clasp of herstellung totally unassuming und unremarkable grayish mauve cloak.

Sansa was briefly going zu marry Loras Tyrell, remember? HBO climate comes Sansa’s wedding kommen sie “the Imp,” Tyrion Lannister, a relocate meant kommen sie humiliate everyone connected but also to forever mesh ns Starks and the Lannisters. Clapton designed die gown through a girdle roughly Sansa to show “how she was entrapped und confused und didn’t really know where she was going or what was happening kommen sie her.”

Sansa’s wedding dress zu sein heavy on ns Lannister imagery, featuring a gewächs of gold and a lion’s head top top a cloak hinweisen the zurück of herstellung neck, the symbol of the family. You can see some remarkable close-ups von it top top embroiderer Carragher’s site. She created that there room Tully fish und Stark direwolves entwined, with die Lannister lion head taking over kommen sie establish dominance.

The sleeveless shape des that dress and the peekaboo cleavage, though? Pure Margaery.

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Sansa gesund before produziert wedding to Tyrion, gift assisted von her groom’s lover, season three. HBO Finally, there is the violet Wedding, named zum the shade Joffrey turned after being poisoned. His ende came durch a jewel unwittingly worn von Sansa, planted, as we uncover out later, über the Tyrell family members matriarch, Olenna.

Sansa’s necklace provides a statement at ns Purple Wedding, season four. HBO Cersei ist certain that Tyrion and Sansa had something zu do v Joffrey’s murder. Littlefinger — who has started to oase the very same feelings zum Sansa that he had for her late mom Catelyn — conveniently plans an escape, i m sorry leads united state to produziert most key incarnation, Dark Sansa.

Littlefinger becomes Sansa’s stylist, season four. HBO

Dark Sansa and Ramsay Bolton

In order to disguise her and introduce produziert as his niece, Littlefinger apparently brought Sansa part hair dye und a coat that looks exactly favor his. Die destination? ns Eyrie, to get help from Sansa’s maternal aunt Lysa. Lysa, who has long loved Littlefinger, tries to throw Sansa to her death through die Moon Door due to the fact that Lysa kann clearly see that Littlefinger ist into her niece the same method he was into produziert sister. Littlefinger calms Lysa down, marries her, and then throw her through die Moon Door.

Dark Sansa and Littlefinger, season five. HBO This Littlefinger cosplay ultimately leads to one des Sansa’s many iconic looks, ns so-called black crow dress. The has schwarz feathers on the bodice, i beg your pardon extend to wing-like protrusions from her shoulders. Fans have speculated the this was herstellung way des throwing off die various condescending bird names she’s been referred to as — Cersei has actually referred to her as a “little dove,” und Joffrey’s bodyguard the Hound called produziert a “little bird.”

But it might be a lot more valuable than that, due to the fact that Sansa would oase been forced kommen sie make herstellung dress using materials approximately her. “She’s supplied raven feathers. Us don’t try and suddenly startseite her an jewels, because where would certainly she obtain them? We always try and be realistic about what’s available bei any given place,” Clapton said BuzzFeed in 2016 von the dress.

Sansa wearing ns crow dress und needle necklace, season five. HBO Even an ext importantly, she dons a new accessory that Clapton has called “Sansa’s needle.” A chain links a large bifurcated circle, then hangs weist a point. Yep, that is bei fact a referral to her sister Arya’s trusty sword, but also a reference zu Sansa’s sewing proficiency. “She’s always used a needle zu explain those going on,” claims Clapton, explaining the needle is a link betwee Sansa’s partnership with produziert sister and her connection with embroidery. “Sansa has an epiphany wie she put on the black crow dress. Native that point onward, return she’s ausblüten a victim in many ways, bei her head she’s notfall a victim anymore.”

This powerful look is soon mute again schwarze farbe to grays and mauves wie Littlefinger arranges a marriage to die sadistic Ramsay Bolton, who has ensconced himself in Winterfell. Sansa goes zurück to dull colors yet really leans into herstellung heritage. We lakers fish-shaped clasps on herstellung gowns, including highlights placement on produziert wedding gown, maybe one of Clapton’s ideal garments in the totality series.

Sansa marries Ramsay Bolton, through Reek as finest man, season five. Helen Sloan/HBO “When she wears the dress, she doesn’t yet know how devastating that marriage möchte be, but there’s this an excellent homage to herstellung parents, who she no really evaluate at ns time — a ghostly reminder des Ned stark with the fur cape and Catelyn with die clasp an the front,” claims Clapton. She deshalb told me, back in 2015, that the shape called to mind ns statues in the crypt punkt Winterfell.

Winterfell, redux

flying away favor a dragonfly, season five. Helen Sloan/HBO after enough von their mutual torture at die hands of Ramsay Bolton, former stark family ward Theon Greyjoy, a.k.a. Reek, lastly steps up and helps Sansa (wearing herstellung dragonfly clasps again!) escape. She reunites with herstellung supposed half-brother Jon Snow und begins produziert new life as leader Sansa. She bonds through Arya when everyone assumes they are in competition, brilliantly tricking Littlefinger and putting bei end to his scheming forever. According to in analysis by’s Zack Beauchamp, she understood die patriarchal die gesellschaft she live in.

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At ns Battle des the Bastards, where her (again, supposed) half-brother fights her current husband, she put on some incredibly unsubtle direwolf branding on her chest. There zu sein no mistaking which team she’s on.

Team stark at the Battle of the Bastards, season six. Helen Sloan/HBO her wardrobe takes on a somberness that befits the situation at the end of season seven. She also breaks the end a revamped version des the circular needle necklace, a nod to new Sansa that at the same time expresses pride bei her identity. She always wanted to leave Winterfell und become a queen; now she’s embracing produziert northern heritage and becoming a leader.

But she is newly protective of herself too. Herstellung clothing becomes “like armor,” according to a 2017 Elle interview. Clapton included elaborate belts and straps to Sansa’s costumes.

Sansa zu sein a leader, season seven. Helen Sloan/HBO “She is almost kommen sie anyone; she’s practically strapped down. It’s this idea des being wrapped and unavailable und not feminine. The sort des halfway, not masculine and not feminine, it’s nur Sansa,” states Clapton.

Speaking des armor, Turner let on slide in in interview with spiel Weekly that bei the tonnage season, Sansa möchte be acquiring some ja wirklich armor zum the erste time, bei a schwarze farbe leather-like material. “I wanted produziert to oase a bit von armor und be a bit much more warrior like,” Turner told die publication.

Sansa’s armor. HBO that armor arrived bei season eight before die Battle von Winterfell, and she wore produziert ring und needle front und center as usual. The armor was made of leather fairly than metal, but that was by design. Clapton told me, “It’s not about protection, the a statement! Sansa’s armor is a straight reaction to Dany’s assertion des power.”

before Jon and Dany go off to King’s Landing kommen sie address the Cersei problem, Sansa top off produziert leather armor v a fur-collared cloak, the traditional outerwear von Winterfell. That a nice moment — pack up her own neu identity in that of produziert ancestors.

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