The following contains light spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven.
We can expect many exciting things from Game of Thrones season eight, but the one I'm most excited about is Sansa Stark's inevitable reunion with Tyrion Lannister. You might be thinking: "Why would you be excited about Sansa seeing her former husband again, you weirdo?" Well, the answer is easy — because I think that, if Sansa ever decides to give love another shot, it should be with Tyrion. They'd be great together.
The audience wants a happy ending for Sansa, and for many fans, that hope manifests itself as visions of her finally finding the guy or gal of her dreams.
I know, I know . . . we need to give Sansa a break and stop expecting that romance could solve her problems. I'm all about it! I fully support a Game of Thrones that ends with my favourite character as the happily single Lady of Winterfell. But the fact is, the audience wants a happy ending for Sansa, and for many fans, that hope manifests itself as visions of her finally finding the guy or gal of her dreams.
Well, if we're entertaining ideas of Sansa falling in love again — why not with Tyrion? Sure, they've been married once before, but that is a marriage between and man and child; and what's more, it is a marriage that both parties are forced into. A marriage under duress isn't exactly a setup for success, but in the scheme of GOT unions it is a relatively happy one. Despite the other Lannisters' unspeakably cruel treatment of Sansa, she and Tyrion have a mutual respect borne partly out of their agreement not to consummate the marriage.
Eventually, of course, the marriage ends when Sansa flees King's Landing, unintentionally implicating Tyrion in his nephew Joffrey's murder. But as we're reminded when Jon Snow and Tyrion meet at Dragonstone in season seven, there are no hard feelings between the former spouses. So now that Tyrion is headed north with Jon and Daenerys, here's my take on why he and Sansa could actually make a perfect couple should they reconnect at Winterfell.
Why Sansa and Tyrion Are a Perfect Pairing:
- He is the only man who has never wanted anything from her. From the start of their relationship, Tyrion is the only man outside of Sansa's family who doesn't manipulate her for his own gain. In fact, he wants nothing more than to make her happy, constantly seeking to make up for his family's awful treatment. On their wedding night, Tyrion swears to Sansa: "I promise you one thing, my lady: I won't ever hurt you." And unlike the other men she interacts with in the series — manipulative Littlefinger, abusive Joffrey Baratheon, and sadistic Ramsay Bolton — Tyrion actually honors his promise.
- He respects her boundaries. After they exchange vows, Tyrion refuses to bed Sansa, whom he knows has no interest in sleeping with him. "I won't share your bed. Not until you want me to," he tells her, and when she asks how he'd react if she never wants to sleep with him, he toasts her with: "And now my watch begins." Sansa later endures unspeakable sexual trauma at the hands of one man who doesn't respect her wishes, and constantly has to ward off unwanted romantic advances from Littlefinger. Tyrion is the only one of Sansa's suitors to recognise and even celebrate her boundaries.
- He admires her family. In one particularly touching scene during their marriage, Tyrion tells a grieving Sansa about how much he respected her parents and her brother Robb. "What happened to your family was a terrible crime," he tells Sansa gently, adding emphasis to his admiration for her mother's fierceness. Tyrion is also one of Jon Snow's biggest advocates, convincing Daenerys Targaryen to give Jon a chance and eventually helping solidify a powerful alliance between the two houses.
- He makes her smile. Somebody who has endured as much pain and abuse as Sansa doesn't have much to smile about, but Tyrion is the cause of several rare instances when Sansa laughs and smiles. Even during one of the darkest periods of her life as Joffrey's prisoner in King's Landing, Tyrion knows how to make Sansa forget her sadness for a moment or two.
- Tyrion does his best to protect Sansa. Even before they are wed, Tyrion sticks his neck out to protect Sansa. Most notably, when Joffrey has her stripped and beaten before a court of onlookers, Tyrion immediately puts a stop to the spectacle, covers a humiliated and frightened Sansa with his cloak, and gently escorts her from the hall.
- They've both been jaded by love. Neither Sansa nor Tyrion have had it easy when it comes to romance. Sansa's forays into love have resulted in either her family's deaths (courtesy of once-fiancé Joffrey) or extended periods of ghastly physical and emotional abuse (by way of husband Ramsay Bolton). Tyrion, of course, is betrayed by his lover Shae. He once says to Sansa: "The disgraced daughter and the demon monkey. We're perfect for each other!" It seems that they're a good fit not only because of their negative reputations, but also because of their bad luck in love.
- They hold each other accountable. The night of their wedding, Sansa gently chides her drunken new husband when he reaches for more wine with: "Is that wise, Tyrion?" As she grows comfortable with Tyrion, she becomes even less afraid of voicing her opinion with him. And he, too, holds her accountable; after the Red Wedding, when Sansa dissolves into depression and makes herself a target for Joffrey, Tyrion tells her: "Sansa, your mother would want you to carry on. You know it's true." They each know how to encourage and chastise the other when appropriate, asserting respectful guidance when necessary for the other's benefit.
- She won't be afraid to challenge him. As Lady of Winterfell, Sansa has been anything but meek when voicing her political opinions to Jon Snow. She knows when her diplomatic ideas are right, and she is vocal about how things should be done. Were she and Tyrion to reunite, she would be able to counter his ideas with her own, debating about which course is the correct one.
- She understands his complex family dynamic. If anybody understands why Tyrion hates his own siblings, it's Sansa, who spends years with them at King's Landing. While Daenerys questions Tyrion's loyalty to her own cause, wondering why he would leave Cersei and Jaime, Sansa would grasp the idea easily — Tyrion has always been different from the rest of the Lannister clan.
- Together, they're unstoppable. With Tyrion's quick wits and clever strategy, and Sansa's years of quiet observance in court, they would make an unbeatable force in the game of thrones. They've each seen the downfall of several major players, and both have a rare gift for ruling fairly, diplomatically, and strategically. Now both trusted advisers of two different rulers, Sansa and Tyrion could provide valuable insight for Jon and Daenerys's future kingdom.
I'm not saying that Sansa needs to find love again, but if she does, Tyrion Lannister is the only guy so far who is close to worthy of her affection. Just write "The Lion and The Wolf" on my tombstone, because I will go down with this ship!