In the finale of Game of Thrones season seven, titled ‘The Dragon and The Wolf’, fans witnessed the death of another character apart from Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish. That of the old Sansa Stark. Bolder and more powerful as Lady of Winterfell, Sansa, in this season, ditched the smile, gowns, and lemon cakes, and replaced it with thick and heavy belts incorporated onto the bodice of her dark grey tunics with a stare often difficult to read.
This week also marks the death of another pop culture icon – the old Taylor Swift. Her song ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is making headlines, the one in which she ditches her goody-two-shoes music video characters and embraces a more darker, angrier version of herself. She takes a dig at all those who have ridiculed or wronged her in that past, and one-by-one, avenges those insults.
It is only fitting to know that these two girls, one fictional and one real, are finally revealing what they’re capable of and have risen above all those who pegged them to be “silly, pretty girls” who just dream of princes and castles. They’ve come a long way, recognising those who have betrayed them and choosing not to cry over it this time.
Way back in season one, in 2011, we were introduced to Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter of Ned Stark and Catelyn Stark, and Septa Mordane’s favourite pupil, who was lauded for the way she stitched, wrote, and held herself in front of “valiant” boys like Joffrey. From loving lemon cakes to falling prey to everybody’s mind games, Sansa learnt hard but learnt well. In fact, she even credited Baelish for the many lessons he taught her about manipulating someone. And then, executed him.
Around the same time, Taylor Swift had just begun dating Jake Gyllenhal and had even gone on a world tour for her album ‘Speak Now’. In the album, the one song that got massive attention was ‘The Story of Us’, where she sang about encountering an ex-boyfriend of hers at the 2010 CMT Music Awards. The ex-boyfriend she sang about was John Mayer.
In recent times, John Mayer had done the petty thing of tweeting that December 13 (Swift’s birthday) is the lamest day of the year.
Cut to season two of Game of Thrones, where Sansa, as the bereaved daughter of Ned Stark, was forced to watch her father’s head on spike and was even beaten by Joffrey’s men. She took it all, but continued begging them to stop ill-treating her and promising to be submissive. However, when Margaery Tyrell made an entrance and was chosen to marry Joffrey, Sansa faked unhappiness, but was secretly glad about the outcome. She, however, continued to be naive, falling prey to Olenna Tyrell’s schemes.
Around the same time, Taylor Swift was still writing about ex-boyfriends and how heartbroken she was after they broke up, mostly implying that she was the one who got dumped. Her album ‘Red’ was then released, with two popular songs ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ (reportedly about her toxic relationship with John Mayer) and ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ (reportedly about Jake Gyllenhaa, as the two had broken up in January 2011).
Albeit a little darker than the usual sweet Taylor Swift songs, they did have the regular dose of Taylor portrayed as the victim of a relationship that didn’t work out for a reason that no one knows.
In 2014, fresh off Red Wedding, Sansa Stark in the fourth season of the show was learning to be a little wary of things. Observing more than speaking, Sansa, whom Littlefinger sort-of kidnapped, began to caution herself about him and his sneaky ways. Especially when they kissed in the snow and he tried to pass her off as his bastard daughter and continued to have her lie about who she was when Lysa Arryn was shoved down the moon door by him. She didn’t fear him, but she did sense something was off. But taking any action could have gotten her in trouble, and hence, like him, she waited and watched, perhaps to strike at the right time.
The same year, Taylor came up with her fifth studio album ‘1989’. A lot of the songs went on to become famous, especially when she took a dig at the media, her ruined friendship with Katy Perry, and lots more.
“I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say, that’s what people say
I go on too many dates, but I can’t make them stay
At least that’s what people say, that’s what people say”
In her latest song, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, she wore the same clothes as in ‘Shake It Off’. The new Taylor also rolled her eyes at the ‘Shake It Off’ trailer.
‘Bad Blood’ too, was something unlike Taylor. Darker and roping in many other artists, she went wild and angry in this one. Swift, in an interview, hinted that an artist attempted to sabotage one of her concert tours by hiring people who worked for her. Publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Time and The Washington Post have speculated that Katy Perry is the subject of the song.
Meanwhile, ‘Blank Space’ was all about Taylor taking a dig at herself. The reception to these songs was massive, with a lot of them continuing to be earworms. Not the usual Taylor fare this.
The fifth season was when Sansa married the devil’s incarnate – Ramsay Bolton. This was orchestrated by Littlefinger, something she addressed at the time of his execution later. Raped and beaten, Sansa and Theon somehow fled and met with Jon Snow.
With Jon by her side, Sansa was far from nice to Ramsay. But there were still remnants of her old worried self.
In the recent season though, with Jon traveling all the way to meet Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa, as Lady of Winterfell, was less forgiving. Confronting Littlefinger about all his murders and treasons, Sansa didn’t fall for his tears or his plea for mercy.
“You murdered our aunt, Lysa Arryn. Earlier you conspired to murder Jon Arryn. You gave Lysa Tears of Lys to poison him. The conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters, it was you who started it.You conspired with Cersei Lannister and Joffrey Baratheon to betray our father Ned Stark. Thanks to your treachery, he was imprisoned and later executed on false charges of treason,” she says not mincing her words.
Needless to say, Littlefinger was terrified beyond words. Perhaps for the first time in his life.
Much like how all those who took jabs at Taylor Swift’s expense are probably worried about the repercussions her latest song might result in. Kim Kardarshian West herself isn’t too thrilled.