dear diary, today will be different, it has to be. I will smile and it will be believable. My smile will say, “I’m fine, thank you. Yes, I feel much better”. I will no longer be the sad little girl that lost her parents. I will start fresh, be someone new. It’s the only way I’ll make it through.
Right now, Sansa may not have Arya’s blood-lust, Brienne’s physical power, Cersei’s political acumen or Daenarys’ ambition (or, you know, dragons), but she’s still one of the strongest characters in the series. It’s just that we’re not used to recognizing her strength for what it is.
The female characters we tend to applaud typically adhere to a particular formula for strength, one that breaks the patriarchal mold of how a woman should behave. This can be empowering, but the constant regurgitation of this one type of “strong female character” limits the kind of women we value on screen and dismisses the merits of those who prove themselves in a different way. Male characters aren’t confined by the same standards, and more stereotypically “feminine” traits like patience, kindness and adaptability shouldn’t be seen as inherently lesser than more “masculine” ones like physical strength or the ability to lead an army into battle.