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Sansa Stark Is the Real Queen We Deserved on ’Game of Thrones’

Caution: Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.

Stand up, Sansa Hive—we finally have a queen. Game of Thrones took its final bow last night, closing out its eight-year run with a final episode that left many fans scratching their head.

To recap: Daenerys flattened King’s Landing and was inches from taking the throne, Jon stabbed her, Drogon burned the Iron Throne to the ground, and then a counsel of Westerosi leaders picked the first chosen King of the Seven (now Six) Kingdoms, and they landed on…Bran Stark. Despite that bizarre and underwhelming choice, there was at least one positive development from it: Sansa Stark is now the Queen of the North, something her fans—i.e., those of us who have our heads screwed on straight—deserved to see.

A scene from the Game of Thrones finaleHBO

New members of the Sansa Hive aren’t welcome here—I’ve been a Sansa stan for as long as I’ve watched the show, and throughout those years I’ve endured Game of Thrones "fans" calling Sansa whiny, weak, and spineless. For some reason the eldest Stark sister was polarizing.

But on last night’s final episode, she proved why everyone should have been stanning this whole time. Case in point: When Tyrion first suggested that the counsel choose a king or queen and her uncle Edmure Tully embarrassed himself by standing up and pontificating about his accolades, Sansa cut him off with a command, “Uncle. Please sit.” It was the only moment in the episode that made me audibly gasp for air.

In that same scene last night, Sansa was the only member of the counsel to vote against Bran, asserting without contest that the North would recede from the Seven Kingdoms and become an independent state once again, with her ruling in Winterfell. That's not the only savage way she called out her little brother:

Sansa's rise to power was a slow burn, but once she grabbed it, she held on with an iron grip. Even when Lady Stark was stripped of her name, her autonomy, and everything she knew and loved, she was still—to borrow a phrase Turner herself used to describe Arya—was always "that bitch.” There was the time she bitch-slapped Robin Arryn in the face. Or when she sniped at Septa Mordane in season one with one of her greatest one-liners: “Oh wait, I just realized I don’t care.” She’s the Stark who always reminded us that “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” and speaker of truths such as “No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.”

Sansa has been especially good at putting mediocre men in their place and making them feel mortified for even breathing around her. This season she told Tyrion, “I used to think you were the cleverest man alive.” That didn’t even sting half as badly as her takedown of Lord Baelish in season seven: “No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I’ll assume it was something clever.” Sansa and Arya conspiring to kill Littlefinger at the end of last season was probably the most satisfying moment in Game of Thrones history for me—a feeling so blissful I wish it could have been re-created in last night’s episode. But could anything really feel as rapturous as Sansa being crowned queen? Answer: hard no.

To the rest of the Sansa Hive, it’s been a pleasure stanning so ruthlessly alongside you. In my opinion, the Sansa Hive is the most passionate (and therefore the scariest) of all the Game of Thrones fandoms. We’re the scrappy ones, the ones who are always ready to drive our claws through your extensions and drag you by the hair.

I’ll miss our queen’s severe wintry lewks, her cascading orange braids, and her devastating one-liners that made Ariana Grande look timid. And I want to thank Sophie Turner for bringing her wonderful energy to play Sansa (lest we forget the video of her chugging wine on the jumbotron at Madison Square Garden). Screw Bran—Sansa Stark is the queen we’ve always deserved. Step on me, ginger legend!

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