With the "Great War" over, the "Last War" officially begins in Season 8’s fourth episode, as Jon and Daenerys turn their attention from the Night King to Cersei Lannister. But who will be the one to take down the queen? Will Sansa kill Cersei on Game Of Thrones? Fans have been making predictions for years about which character will do the deed, with most theories revolving around Cersei’s brothers or Arya Stark. But having Sansa be the one to defeat the story’s final villain might be the most satisfying ending of all.
In my opinion, having Arya kill the Night King at the Battle of Winterfell in Episode 3 pretty much removes her as an option from the list of Cersei’s possible killers. It seems very unlikely that the writers would have the same character kill both of the show’s Big Bads. And most of the theories about Tyrion and Jaime revolve around a book prophecy (about the valonqar) that didn’t make it onto the show, which could signify that the showrunners were preparing to depart from George R.R. Martin’s planned ending. And if it’s not going to be any of those candidates, then it should absolutely be Sansa Stark.
Few people have suffered more under Cersei’s thumb — or learned more from her — than Sansa. Their contentious relationship goes all the way back to the show’s second episode, when Cersei ordered the execution of Sansa’s mild-mannered direwolf, Lady. After the coup that saw Sansa’s father imprisoned and then executed, Sansa was held captive in the Red Keep for two and a half seasons, first subject to the brutal whims of Cersei’s son Joffrey, then married against her will to Tyrion, then forced to continue with the family who had plotted the murder of her mother and brother at the Red Wedding.
But even though Sansa clearly has plenty of cause to hate Cersei, she admitted to Jon that she also holds some grudging respect for the queen. Cersei taught her a lot about how to play the game of thrones. As the Battle of Winterfell proved, knowing your enemy is the key to defeating them. Bran knew that the Night King would seek him out, and they exploited that knowledge to the White Walker’s downfall. Sansa knows Cersei better than anyone other than her family — and apparently better than her own family at this point, considering she didn’t fall for Cersei’s ruse when Tyrion did.
In "The Long Night," Arya gave Sansa a dagger so she could defend herself if she needed to. Sansa told her little sister she didn’t know how to use it, and Arya gave the same advice Jon gave Arya back in Season 1: "Stick ’em with the pointy end." Arya ended up using that advice and a dagger given to her by her younger sibling (Bran) to kill the Night King; will Sansa use the same advice and another dagger given to her by her younger sibling to kill Cersei? How great would it be if the two Stark sisters end up being the two people who bring down the two biggest threats facing Westeros?
For several seasons now, Sansa has existed as a sort of an alternate reality version of Cersei; a version of her former captor with all of her cunning and none of her cruelty. If Sansa as a character is meant to parallell Cersei in many ways… could those parallels include sitting on the Iron Throne? What Westeros needs is a ruler with the political mind of a Cersei or a Littlefinger, balanced out by the loyalty and honor of a Stark or a Tully. Sansa contains the best blend of all these traits and she could be the one best qualified to take down Cersei and take her place.
Having recently reconciled with her former husband Tyrion, it’s easy to imagine a future for Westeros where Sansa sits on the throne and Tyrion serves as her Hand, a powerful and respectful partnership that results in years of peace and fair leadership.
Cersei has already broken the glass ceiling for a woman to rule Westeros; now Sansa just needs to show everyone what a good ruler looks like. Long live the queen!
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