In the lead-up to Game of Thrones season eight, Maisie Williams suggested that fans should re-watch the show’s first season, which aired in 2011. “After reading the scripts, I went back and watched season one again because so much of it refers back to that season,” the actress said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar.” No kidding: the premiere, “Winterfell,” had multiple callbacks to “Winter is Coming,” right down to the first scene of the series. That wasn’t the only reason to re-watch the pilot (the one that made it to air), though. It’s also amusing seeing how much the characters have changed since Jaime Lannister, when he still looked like Prince Charming, pushed Bran out a window. Theon is chummy with the Starks, Daenerys is Viserys’ helpless sister, and Tyrion has blonde hair. But which character has changed the most since then?
According to the showrunners, it’s Sansa.
“She started out so naive and was forced to undergo the most brutal possible education into the world but emerged from it and became this powerful figure and kind of against all odds. I don’t think too many people watching the first season had any expectation that Sansa would become the woman that she became,” David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly. He said much of the credit goes to Sophie Turner and “the phenom she turned out to be as an actress” (disaster averted). D.B. Weiss agreed with Benioff, although he noted that Bran has “undergone quite a transformation,” too. Yeah, he’s turned into a creep.
But back to Sansa: when we first meet her, she’s a pouty teenager who’s obsessed with lemon cakes and marrying Joffrey, in that order. Now, she’s the Lady of Winterfell, a strong tactician and leader who took back her ancestral house from Ramsay Bolton, who she fed to a pack of hungry dogs.
It’s hard to imagine season one Sansa doing that.