Going to use this gif set as excuse to blah blah blah about this scene, don’t mind me.
This was so, so perfectly written and acted and I felt like I finally “got” Sansa’s interactions with the Hound in a way I hadn’t quite when reading the books. I think their relationship holds a lot of narrative meanings in the books, but the one that struck me in this scene was new and, imo, perfect.
It seems like, in that moment, she understands that she holds power over him. It connects to Cersei informing her of a woman’s “power between her legs” earlier in the episode but for Sansa, it’s an epiphany not yet connected to the usefulness of that power as a tool to get what she wants (which is how Cersei sees it). Until this moment, Cersei’s speeches, her backhanded attempts to teach Sansa the ways of female power, meant nothing to Sansa - before King’s Landing, power wasn’t at issue in her life and since coming here, she’s been nothing but powerless. But now here is this man in her bedroom, she should be terrified, and she’s looking into his eyes and she realizes that he’s not going to hurt her. She also realizes the way to actualize that power - to lock him into that realization - is to look him in the eyes and say it out loud, drawing him into confirming it.
Remember how we joke that that shirtless Gendry scene was Arya’s sexual awakening? This is a sort of sexual awakening for Sansa, not in the sense that she’s sexually attracted to the Hound - she might be, whatever - but in the sense that she awakens to the possibility of sex as power. (Though I also think she’s not connecting it to the physical act, more to the bonds of love - romance and love and family and death and sex are all very confused in Sansa’s mind at this point.)
Sansa’s story is a coming of age tale, but more specifically it’s training story - she’s getting trained in the ways of politics and in how to play the game of thrones. This is an important moment for her, since I assume they’re going to put the Dontos plot in next season and, even though she ultimately gets played in that plotline, it’s the first time she’s intentionally used a person’s (man’s) devotion to her to get what she wants, cashing in a favor when she needs it. (Cashing in favors and playing office politics is something my mother says women have to learn to do in the business world, haha.) Positioning this scene right now shows very clearly that she’s progressing in her training, so to speak, and based on the Littlefinger moment in the preview, that thread will continue.
anyway bb sansa was flawless this episode, bb hound is about to embark on a journey of discovery, i’m about to slink off into a corner and meditate on how all the scenes i’m really looking forward to (besides certain deaths and certain dragons) are sansa (+ littlefinger) scenes and what that says about me as a person.