Last season on Game of Thrones, the student surpassed the master. After years of bearing witness to Littlefinger's deceptions, Sansa flipped the script on Lord Baelish and killed him when he tried to turn her against her sister. While most would agree that having Littlefinger out of the picture is a good thing, it does leave Sansa without a powerful consul to lean on in unfamiliar situations. Sophie Turner remarked recently this is part of Sansa's biggest challenge in Season 8, as she looks to hold the North using her own developed skills.
It's going to be tricky for her, because at the end of last season, she felt that she had everything set up. She had her family back together. They were in control of the North again. This season, there's a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it's a test for her of whether she can get through it. It's a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.
As Sophie Turner mentions, Sansa's Season 8 struggles won't be a war of words and deception as it's gone in the past, but a more emotional endeavor. As to what that means exactly, she didn't specify, but it seems obvious Sansa will be engaged in the oncoming threat of the Night King, and possibly other imposing threats. That's a struggle where there's certainly an incentive for her to win, but Sansa's personal battle against the White Walkers doesn't seem like a situation that "passionate" accurately describes.
Perhaps the impassioned battle Sophie Turner teases in her interview with Variety alludes to a war against a former foe? Game of Thrones fans already know Cersei Lannister is planning a double cross on Dany and Jon in their fight against the White Walkers, and they're going to need all the help they can get to fight both wars simultaneously. Cersei is another person that Sansa mentored on her royal rise, as well as someone near the top of Arya Stark's kill list. When Cersei makes her move, Jon and Dany will need to engage in two wars, and with Sansa at Winterfell, she might just be the one leading the charge against Cersei.
As exciting as that may be, there's no reason Sansa can't be passionate about both the prospect of defeating Cersei and the White Walker threat. Perhaps Sansa's passionate fight is more or less being acknowledged to prove she's a capable leader of the North. While she's become a little less hungry in her pursuit of power, Sansa has always wanted to lead, and being given the opportunity to prove her worth in Season 8 could certainly be viewed as a passionate endeavor.
Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere on HBO sometime in 2018 or 2019, depending on who you believe. For more on upcoming programming, head on over to our fall premiere guide and midseason premiere guide to find lots of shows to watch while waiting for more GoT. For a list of shows that got canceled in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.