Over the past two seasons, Sansa Stark has finally come into her own as one of the strongest and savviest characters on Game of Thrones. Her journey has been one marked by trauma: She was forced to watch her father die, endured nonstop abuse from Joffrey, and was raped multiple times by her second husband, Ramsay Bolton. And now (after killing Ramsay and taking her rightful place as the Lady of Winterfell) she has become many people’s favorite character. And as clinical psychologist (plus author of the upcoming choose-your-own-adventure self-help fantasy book, Therapy Quest) Dr. Janina Scarlet explained to us, there’s a reason for why that is.
In an email to HelloGiggles, Scarlet wrote that Sansa exhibits post-traumatic growth, a phenomenon that causes someone who has lived through traumatic events to undergo positive changes as a result.
Scarlet noted that Sansa has become “the epitome of a survivor.” She has grown into a courageous and capable leader who protects her family and respects her allies, such as Brienne and Theon.
We still don’t know what’s in store for Sansa as Game of Thrones comes to an end, but the way that she has overcome her past already makes her a hero in our eyes.
If you’re interested in Dr. Scarlet’s self-help fantasy book (which is designed to help readers with depression, anxiety, and PTSD) you can pre-order it here. She is also the author of Superhero Therapy: A Hero’s Journey through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Harry Potter Therapy: An Unauthorized Self-Help Book from the Restricted Section, both available on Amazon.