Game of Thrones' Sansa Stark loves to express herself through beauty and fashion (opens in new tab). The way she dresses and wears her hair gives fans a lot of insight into where her head (and sometimes her heart) is at at any given moment. Here are all of Sansa's most meaningful hairstyles. *Warning: Spoilers for the series finale of GoT ahead.*
Arya and Sansa Stark might not have much in common these days, but early in Season 1, they were both rocking the classic Northerner look when it came to their hair. Arya's is messy (because she doesn't care what society thinks (opens in new tab)) and Sansa's is pristine (because she does), but the general style is the same. Let's call this one, Before Sansa—as in "Before Everything in Her Life Was Terrible Forever."
By the end of Season 1, Sansa was drinking the King's Landing Kool-Aid and it showed in her hair. Here she is, literally standing in Cersei's shadow and wearing her hair just like the Queen's (except, you know less elaborate because Sansa doesn't want to upstage her idol).
When Margaery Tyrell arrived in King's Landing, she did two things for Sansa: First, she saved her from having to marry Joffrey Baratheon. Second, she gave her a new role model, as evidenced by Sansa's move to start doing her hair more like the ladies of Highgarden.
When she was forced to marry Tyrion, Sansa's entire look screamed "Lannister," from the gold and lion-embellished dress to her Cersei-esque updo. It all serves as a not-so-subtle message that they own her and can make her do anything—even become one of them.
Sansa has endured a lot on Game of Thrones. She's been subjected to cruelty and abuse from Joffrey and Ramsay and psychological gameplay by everyone from Cersei to Littlefinger. When she returns to the North and starts to reclaim her inner strength, she sports the same war-ready braid her mom, Catelyn, wore when she was at Robb's side during his time in battle.
When Season 7 premiered, fans were quick to notice to some new hair inspo for Sansa—she was wearing her hair a lot like Cersei's (opens in new tab). It was a sign that she was ready to play (and maybe just win) the proverbial Game of Thrones.
One of Sansa's most iconic looks that doesn't get a ton of attention are these awesome braids paired with cascading hair from Season 1—which is pretty reminiscent of the way a certain Khaleesi loves to wear her hair. Unlike most of her meaningful styles, this one couldn't have been directly influenced by another character (it took until the beginning of the final season for them to meet), but it's easy to wonder if the Thrones Powers That Be were dropping a subtle hint.
In the Game of Thrones series finale, Sansa sent one last major message with her hair. When we last see Sansa, assuming her position as Queen of the North, she's wearing her hair completely down. Since Sansa's elaborate styles and braids over the years have famously been her way of channeling the people she's learning from, wearing her hair down seems to be a sign that she's just being 100 percent Sansa, inspired by no one else—and that's a pretty amazing message to end on.
Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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