Right, well, I notice a lot of people absolutely hate Sansa. Personally, I think Sansa is an excellent character, though maybe not a favourite she's definitely pretty close.

Now, if you haven't read up to A Feast for Crows, I recomend you turn back right now because there will be spoilers. Pretty big spoilers, and lots of them.

Anyways, this is my opinion about Sansa and my resoponse to the haters.

Why people hate Sansa
As far as I can see, the key reason people hate Sansa is her girliness and shallowness at the beginning of the books (or TV Show, if you prefer). Yes, I agree Sansa needed to grow up, but (a)so do most twelve-year-olds, and (b)she did grow up - a lot. And, is there anything wrong with an occasional female character who is not a rebelious tomboy?

Sansa in A Game of Thrones

In A Game of Thrones, Sansa starts off as a typical teenager, if a particularly naive one. She lives in a fantasy world of her own, is in love with the idea of love and acts rather bratty at times. When she meets Joffrey, he is everything she's been dreaming of, at least on the outside. And, yes, I know she's being mean to Arya, but you have to see things from her point of view a bit. When Arya beats up Joffrey, he lashes out at her, leaving her hurt and confused. You can't exactly blame her for becoming more than a little hostile towards Arya at this point. Then, yes, she runs of to Cersei and tells her all about Eddard Stark's plan. I know, I know, most of you are rolling her eyes at her stupidity - but remember, Cersei was Joffrey's mother. Joffrey, whom up until that point had been her knight in shining armour, her hero, her dream come true - and Eddard's plan involved her leaving him. And she really didn't understand how serious the situation was - for her, the worst thing that could happen was being dragged back home brokenhearted, something she was doing everything in he power to prevent. The idea of Ned being beheaded probably never even crosses her mind.

So, Sansa goes to Cersei. She starts to realize that things are looking bad for her father, but still thinks everything will be fine because Joffrey is king and she really believes in him. This would be very touching if it weren't for the fact that she was wrong to believe in him - but how was he to know that? Joffrey, in her mind, is still an idealized Prince Charming who would never do anything to hurt her or anyone she cares about. That is what she is convinced of as she goes down on her knees to plea with him for her fathers life.

Then things begin to go downhill for our Sansa. Joffrey beheads Eddard and Sansa is brought down to reality in the most painful way possible. Suddenly everything in the world she lives in is turned upside-down, and she doesn't have her father there to help her deal with it anymore. Sansa is terrified, and yet, when Joffrey forces her to look at Eddards head dipped in tar she does not brake down, and somehow manages to be brave enough to deliver the "or maybe he'll bring me yours" line. All in all, Sansa has gone from an ignorant, shallow teenage girl with her head in the clouds to someone you can really begin to admire and sympathise with.

Sansa in A Clash of Kings
In A Clash of Kings, Sansa has resigned herslef to the fact that she will have to marry Joffrey, hoping that her brother Robb will succeed in throwing Joffrey down. She is beginning to learn how to live without her father in the middle of a court full of intrigues and has left her fantasy world behind her - mostly. She has succeeded in making her life somewhat more bearable by hiding behind empty courtesies, though when Joffrey to her immense relief cast her aside she reluctantly warns his new bethrothed Margaery of her husband-to-be's true nature. Despite the fact that it would most likely mean becoming Joffrey's bride-to-be once more, she begs Margaery, who is now like a sister to her, not to marry Joffrey. Margaery says that her brother, Loras, would not let Joffrey hurt her. Meanwhile, Ser Dontos promises to help her escape after she saved his life, though she is beginning to doubt his competance.

All in all, we see that Sansa has left behind some of her naivety and almost all of her brattiness. She has become much more capable and independant, and will no longer trust in anyone just because of their outward appearance. Really, in this book, what's to hate?

Sansa in A Storm of Swords
In A Storm of Swords, Sansa is forced to marry Tyrion Lannister, the Imp. Now, Tyrion may be one of the most sympathetic Lannisters, but that doesn't change the fact that he comes from the family that had Sansa's father executed. I know she wasn't exactly pleasant towards him, but considering her expiriences with other Lannisters in the past she's hardly to blame. Then comes Joffrey's wedding. She is pretty much forced to watch people feasting and partying just after news reached her ears about her brother Robb and mother Catelyn's murder. Then, at the feast, Joffrey is murdered and Ser Donto finnally makes good on his promise to help Sansa escape... only for it to be revealed that he was hired by Littlefinger, and the reason helping her escape took so long was because first he had need of her in a plot of his to have Joffrey poisoned. Now, I know all of you are thinking Sansa should be dancing with joy, but think about things a bit harder. Dontos, her hero, had decieved her. She had been used in a plan to assassinate someone. No matter how much of a monster Joffrey was, a twelve year old isn't going to feel comfortable about having had a hand in his death.

So, Littlefinger aka Petyr Baelish brings Sansa to the Eryie. Finnally, Sansa has arrived somewhere that somewhat remsembles home... right? So, something bad has to happen immediately, because George R. R. Martin is just unable to give his characters - especially Sansa - a break. No promblem. Littlefinger forcefully kisses Sansa, and his wife Lysa Arryn trys to kill the poor girl. So Littlefinger shoves her of the cliff and Sansa has to watch her aunt tumble of a moutain. Sweet dreams. Really, Martin is absolutely intent to put Sansa through hell, isn't he? How can you not feel sorry for a charcter who has invoke so much of the author's wrath on them even though they didn't do anything to deserve it?

Sansa in A Feast for Crows
I don't think I'll bother with an overview of what happens to Sansa in this book, since the answer is not much. Instead, I'll just focus on her character development.

In A Feast for Crows, Sansa has finnally become a lot more compent at the Game of Thrones, what with Littlefinger instructing her in it. She's become much colder and is beginning to think of herself as Alayne Stone, the new identity she has taken on. As well as that, she can now better control her emotions, and outbursts from her that have unpleasant consequences aren't likely to happen any more. Sansa has really matured a lot in this book, and is learning how to deal with the world she lives in. Congradulations, Sansa. Hopefully Martin will decide not to have her killed off.