The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven.
Between the bloody character deaths, new romantic pairings, and major threats to the future of Westeros that occur in Game of Thrones season seven, many fans found time to speculate about the future of the eldest Stark daughter, Sansa. For many fans, Sansa hasn't always been the show's most likable character . . . but when she admits to Jon that she "learned a lot from" objectively terrifying queen Cersei Lannister, viewers began suspecting the worst.
Combine this conversation with the way Sansa's hair has grown increasingly similar to Cersei's intricate hairstyles from early seasons, and some fans are ready to write Sansa off as an evil queen in training. But attentive Reddit user Spiral66 caught one small — but extremely telling — distinction between Sansa and Cersei that proves the two women are different in a very significant way.
In season four, Sansa tells then-husband Tyrion that she can't sleep because she's plagued by visions of her family dying in the Red Wedding. "I lie awake all night, staring at the canopy, thinking about how they died," she describes to Tyrion with a look of such pain and resignation that her eyes seem empty. Sansa is haunted by the loss of her mum, brother, sister-in-law, and unborn niece or nephew and blames herself nearly as much as she blames Tyrion's family for their slaughter.
In season seven, the Redditor notes, Cersei uses an eerily similar quote to describe her own lack of sleep at night . . . but with one key difference. "I lie awake and I stare at the canopy and imagine ways of killing my enemies," the queen says.
While Sansa and Cersei's quotes are nearly identical, it shows the difference in their thinking. Sansa, who has lost most of her loved ones, focuses on the loss itself and grieves for her family. Cersei, who has lost the majority of her family too, dwells on the violent ways that she can exact revenge on the people she deems responsible for her suffering.
Commenters on the Reddit thread applauded this attention to detail, even speculating that it sets up an eventual confrontation between Sansa and her former captor.
With the cast of remaining major players in the game of thrones dwindling as the show nears its end, the likelihood of a showdown between Cersei and Sansa grows increasingly higher. Considering that Cersei's only surviving family have gone north to fight in the "Great War," that part of the Wall has crumbled, and that Sansa is the only diplomatically apt Stark in Winterfell, there will be plenty of ways that showrunners could bring Cersei and Sansa together for a final confrontation in season eight.
We can't help but wonder — if the two were to meet again, whose attitude would prove most effective? Cersei, who spends all night dreaming of cruel ways to seek vengeance, or Sansa, who simply aspires to do the best for her house and avoid more grief?
There's only one other person who we know lies awake thinking about slaughtering her list of enemies: Arya Stark. Perhaps Sansa will be able to retain her own values while also channelling Cersei's dedication to revenge by teaming up with her sister against the queen. We already know how effective Stark teamwork is against their enemies; all we need now is for the Stark girls to reunite with mama Lannister to see how it unfolds. Who else is ready for season eight?