After eight seasons and 73 episodes, Game of Thrones came to an end Sunday night.
This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones' series finale.
While other characters on Game of Thrones flocked to King's Landing to fight for the Iron Throne, Sansa Stark said a firm "no thanks" to that noise and stayed at her home, Winterfell. Now that the dust has settled in King's Landing (sadly, literally), Sansa has been named Queen of the North. Here's what Sansa's newfound power means for her, the North, and her relationship with her little sister, Arya.
Why did Sansa become the Queen of the North?
When the Lords and Ladies of Westeros meet to choose their next King (or Queen) and Tyrion successfully nominates Bran Stark, everyone votes yes except Sansa—who politely declines to pledge the North's loyalty on the grounds that the North is going to be it's own damn country, tyvm.
She's much more polite about it than that, but Sansa declares the North's independence in no uncertain terms, which is something that's clearly been coming for a while now. When the Northerners decide to follow Jon Snow, they don't declare him Warden of the North, they declare him King of the North, just like the declared Robb Stark before him. The North has always been itching for its independence (which it enjoyed for hundreds of years before becoming the seventh of the Seven Kingdoms) and Bran agreed to give it to them, making himself King of the Six Kingdoms and Sansa Stark Queen of the North.
How does Arya react to Sansa becoming the Queen of the North?
Arya is not even a tiny bit jealous of Sansa's new queenly title. She doesn't say it, but her common refrain of "that's not me" seems fitting here. Not only is Arya not interested in challenging Sansa for the title of Queen of the North, she decides to never go North again.
Where does Arya go at the end of Game of Thrones?
So where does Arya go? In an exchange with Sansa and Jon (who is sentenced to once again take the black and go serve a life sentence on The Wall), she explains that her plan is to go west of Westeros, because that's where all the maps end and no one knows what's there. In short: Arya becomes a long wolf and embraces her inner explorer. Forever.
Will Arya ever end up with Gendry?
Arya and Gendry shippers need to mourn that coupling forever. Given Arya's plan to explore the unknown for the rest of her days, it's safe to say that she and Gendry are never, ever getting back together.
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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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