As I watched “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms” last night (aka “Game Of Thrones 69”), I had a lot of questions. Why did Jon (Kit Harington) call Danaerys “Dany” (Emilia Clarke) in the crypt when she has explicitly asked him not to? Isn’t the crypt kind of bad news, given all the unburned dead bodies? Is everyone googling Maisie Williams’ age right now? (Yes.) And shouldn’t Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) be...better at chugging? That was just inefficient, and now he’s going to be sticky.
Sansa doesn’t get that emotional for anyone these days. She seemed happier to see Theon at Winterfell than she was to reunite with Jon at The Wall, and she certainly didn’t react this strongly to seeing Arya after many years.
After some careful consideration, though, I have come to the conclusion that these two are likely not in love. Here’s why:
As we know, both Sansa and Theon have been through it. They were both tortured physically and psychologically by Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), and no other living person on the show really knows what that’s like. I have to imagine they both feel extremely isolated by their trauma. Sansa has made attempts to describe hers (see: her S6 confrontation with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen)), but an outsider just can’t understand. And Theon loves his sister, but Yara (Gemma Whelan) is no therapist. Remember when her treatment for Theon’s shaky mental health was to force him to drink?
Additionally, Sansa hasn’t forgotten the way Theon risked everything to save them both from the Boltons. But when Theon and Sansa last saw each other, the former was still largely Reek. He hadn’t entirely shaken his brainwashing and was deeply traumatized. He and Sansa might have a lot of love for one another, but they aren’t in love. They just haven’t spent enough time together (outside of shared torture) for romance to be possible.
Sansa’s reaction to seeing Theon seemed to be about 50% relief (that he was okay and looking much more like Theon than Reek), and 50% happiness to see someone she cares for, and knows she can trust. In the second big Sansa-Theon scene this episode, the two quietly ate soup together, just enjoying one another’s company. It seems clear that they take comfort in each other, and that’s really sweet.
It’s possible that Sansa and Theon will eventually fall in love, despite being raised essentially as siblings (stranger things have happened on this show!), but as with most things on Game Of Thrones, that depends on their good fortune in the battles to come.