Sansa Stark is the Game of Thrones character who has finally come into her own this season. After year upon year of Sansa being victimised, she is finally the victor this week. After escaping Winterfell at the beginning of the season and rallying Jon Snow, much of the North, and then Littlefinger to take back her home, Sansa finally gets her revenge against Ramsay Bolton. Watching hungry hounds devour her sadistic husband would be satisfying enough, but there's a greater win here: Jon and Sansa are back at their rightful home in Winterfell. It feels right in so many ways, but there's another wrinkle you can't help but realise, if you've been watching this show from the beginning: Sansa is turning into her mother, Catelyn. It may be a thing that all women fear, but for Sansa, there are few female role models she'd be better off emulating. It's almost like Catelyn has been reborn (sorry, Lady Stoneheart fans), so let's go over all the ways Sansa Stark has actually been turning into Catelyn.
Her General Strength
Strength has never been Sansa's, well, strength — not until now. But it's a defining characteristic of Stark matriarch Catelyn when we meet her in season one. She's Ned's equal, and when Ned has to go off and fulfill his role as the Hand of the King, she secretly travels to King's Landing, then takes Tyrion prisoner, then leads her son's army as his adviser. She's not just someone's wife, content to stay behind and run the homestead. When we meet a young Sansa in season one, that probably would have been her main goal in life: be married off to the prince, and make a lovely home. But fate had other plans for Sansa, and thankfully, she starts following her mother's example.
Her Battle Smarts
Remember how Catelyn was Robb's most trusted adviser when the then-living King of the North was plotting his attacks? Catelyn patiently listened to Robb's ideas, then would basically step in to correct and advise his plans.
Sansa has assumed that same role for Jon, though more gradually. While she incites Jon to attack Ramsay at Winterfell, she's on the sidelines while the men plot their attack the night before. That is, until she gets Jon alone and tells him his plan is flawed, and he should be getting advice from her. I mean, she doesn't really have specific advice at this time, other than telling him that Ramsay is way worse than anything Jon is expecting. But she's trying — and asserting herself as someone whose brain needs to be taken seriously.
Notably, the men both ignore the biggest piece of advice they're given from the Stark women (Robb still marries Talisa and pisses off Walder Frey, Jon falls right into Ramsay's trap of Rickon-bait), who end up being tragically right. But at least Jon lives to tell the tale.
Her Alliance With Littlefinger
It's clear that Littlefinger's devotion to Sansa is because she resembles her mother, and it's creepy and uncomfortable. However, Sansa at least has figured out how to take advantage of it, at least for now. (Next week, it looks like he'll be trying to make the partnership romantic. Ew.) Though we can thank Sansa and Littlefinger's alliance for saving Jon's army at Winterfell, though, trusting Littlefinger is exactly where Cat had gone wrong in season one. Is Sansa making the same mistake, or will she ultimately be smarter than Cat?