The character’s development as reflected in her style
They say the way you dress always reflects your mood and your personality. This could not be more true when it comes to Sansa Stark. During the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, her character’s style changed more than that of any other. From the young, shy girl to the strong, independent woman she has now become, let’s take a look at the evolution of her style and what we can gather from her choice in clothes character wise.
Sansa Stark is the daughter of a very powerful Lord from the North. And she knows how to dress the part. The fabrics used for her dresses are heavy and rough, suitable for living in colder climates. Her colors of choice are often grey and blue. Subdued colours, underlining her shy personality. Her dressing style is simple, and so is her hairstyle - most of the time, it’s innocently braided.
Her dress for King Robert’s party also reflects upon her status as the daughter of Ned Stark: it’s cut seems to be made for a princess, the material is rich – she’s the picture-perfect daughter. Over the course of the first season, Sansa’s style slowly changes. Because of her association with the Lannisters, she mixes her Northern style with Southern elements. The colours get less subdued, her hair more braided. You can see the way she’s looking up to Cersei and admiring her – it reflects in her new, changed appearance.
Style wise, the biggest difference from her appearance at the beginning of the first season can be observed when Sansa tries to rescue her father from being executed. Her hair is braided in almost the same way Cersei’s is, her dress looks like something women in King’s Landing would wear. During Ned’s beheading however, when we see her in direct comparison to Joffrey and Cersei, her choice of colour (a light blue) still sets her apart from the Lannisters.
Being in King’s Landing seems to complete Sansa’s transformation from a Northerner to a true Southerner. Living in the South calls for wearing lighter fabric, because of the warmer climate. The dresses are more colourful and refined in King’s Landing. Sansa seems to adapt to the new environment quite nicely. Her hairstyle gets more complicated and braided to match the style of the other women at court. Her new way of dressing reflects her character development perfectly – she’s feeling frail and helpless and so are her dresses (light material and colours to show her fragile state of mind). She’s being held hostage and tries to blend in order not to be bothered.
During the third season, Sansa experiences a lot of emotional struggle. Her choice of attire, again, reflects her feelings, as she slowly starts to dress like her old self again. Heavier material and darker colours are her way of showing alliances to her family without getting killed. In addition to that silent rebellion, the heavier clothes also serve as a shield to protect her from the bad influences around her.
The strong materials and bold colours in a way reflect her soul and will, which are slowly getting stronger. She no longer wants to be the shy, fragile girl. She’s slowly but steadily turning into a strong woman. Her wedding dress is another perfect example for Sansa’s unique, character defining style: It’s of heavy, golden fabric, meant to represent her status, but at the same time serving as a shield to protect herself. Her hair seems to rebel as well. Despite the fashion in King’s Landing, she’s almost back to her old hairstyle. Instead of being braided artistically, she is often seen wearing it down and floating – which does not only remind us of her in the first season, but also shows the change Margaery Tyrell brought to King’s Landing.
After the shocking events of the Red Wedding, Sansa is in mourning. And again, her dresses reflect her innermost feelings. The colours are dark and subdued, she’s also starting to dress like her mother used to in order to remember her.
At Joffrey’s and Margaery’s wedding, however, Sansa is again forced to dress her part. This time, as one of the Lannisters. The braided hair is back, making her look like a younger version of Cersei. But let’s not forget the important part her necklace played in that certain event… that is a rebellion in itself, to say the least.
At the end of season 4, Sansa’s transformation is surely the most shocking one to date. Wearing a dark dress, cinched in at the waist, decorated with uncountable dark feathers, her style has completely changed. So has her hair, which seems to be a lot darker and is neither braided nor flowing freely – it’s combed back from her face to show the fierce look in her eyes. Because, again, her style of choice reflects her character development. Finally, she’s not a shy girl anymore. She’s also not a prisoner. She’s a powerful, young woman, capable of taking things in her own hands. Sansa strikes back!
Season 5 of Game of Thrones is ahead of us. And one thing is for sure: Sansa’s style is going to be as interesting as her character’s ongoing development!