During the fire-y, ash-y, maddening penultimate Game of Thrones episode, many viewers found themselves wondering the same question: Where is Sansa Stark, and what's her reaction going to be when she hears about ALL of THIS — hopefully from Arya Stark on her pale mare? (And also, why was there more eye gauging, and what's up with the fire turning green?)
For those who really haven't been Keeping Up with the Starks, good news: Sansa is not dead! She's just in the North, serving as the acting Lady of Winterfell. The last time we saw her, in episode 4, she was gossiping with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), sharing crucial information with her ex-husband that would lead to Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) downfall. After Sansa learns the truth about Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) Targaryen lineage, she decides that he's the one destined for the Iron Throne, not this dragon lady.
What started as hostile stare downs at the beginning of season 8, has now escalated into full distrust. After Dany's breaking point in King's Landing with Drogon, it seems likely that Sansa could join Tyrion in an effort to get rid of Dany as the newly-minted "mad queen." But will she leave Winterfell to do so? Probably not. She is the most regal, capable ruler of them all, and I don't see her abandoning her Northern post to give Dany any further face time. But one thing's for sure: when she hears the news of the city' slaughter, she won't be shocked.
Knowing that Sansa is safe, wearing fur, and hanging out with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) in Winterfell, the remaining question is: What's next? The finale is less than a week away, and everything's changed. Cersei and Jaime Lannister are as good as dead after meeting a rocky fate, Dany is more dangerous than she's ever been, and Jon is torn as hell over what to do with his Queen, and lover (and aunt).
But the mental state of the remainder of the show's mainstays are a bit more of mystery. Arya is clearly scarred from what she's seen at King's Landing, and has a certain green-eyed woman to seek out — but will she return to Winterfell to warn her sister about what she's seen? Or will she continue riding on alone, sans Hound, RIP, and run away from this life, like her wolf Nymeria? Bran is around, with Sansa, but the two don't really communicate that well since Bran is literally always in his head. He probably knows about the atrocities that happened within the walls of King's Landing, but he also likely won't tell anyone until they're on a big Skype conference call and he casually mentions that yes, he knew that would happen all along. Sansa, meanwhile, is vindicated (in the worst way). Our girl probably won't end up on the throne, but she'll, hopefully, have a final word on who gets it.