The eldest daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark, Sansa has emerged as one of the series' most complicated characters -- seemingly conflicted with her personal ambitions and how that coincides with her loyalty to her family. Her journey from a bratty teen in Season 1 to the composed young adult of Season 7 has been nothing short of intriguing. It is for those reasons, and those below, that she has earned her spot surviving Game of Thrones' finale.
Sansa Represents Everything This Show Stands For
In many ways, Sansa is the demonstrative embodiment of how the show's characters have merged since it began. While she was born a Stark, Sansa's time around the Lannisters has had an impact on her.
When her marriage to Joffrey fell through, Sansa was eventually married to Tyrion. So she has indeed been a Lannister by marriage. Leading up to that time and beyond, she spent ample time with the family, even receiving a fair share of schooling in the ways of the world from her sister-in-law, Cersei Lannister, also known as the reigning Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Sansa did not just sit idly by. She listened and learned. As she has proven time and again, it is thanks to this education-of-sorts, and Littlefinger's mentorship, that Sansa has learned to harness her innate abilities to become a power player. She has the Starks' steely resolve and the Lannisters' practicality regarding what it takes to survive and thrive. There is a lot about Sansa's journey that mirrors many of the show's themes.
Sansa Is A Survivor
She went from being young and naïve to someone who knows too many bitter truths about the world. Sansa has not been defeated by these trials or tribulations either, surviving it all with relative ease. Given all of her skill and know-how, she has proven she has what it takes to outlast the finale.
Her choices and overall endgame have been shrouded in mystery throughout her run on Game of Thrones, with Sophie Turner's performance geared to keep that mystery intact. All the while, Sansa has shown a knack for cunning and calculation, helping to fuel plenty of fan theories over the years. The question lingering not too far behind those attributes being, to what end has she been sharpening them? Hers or others?
Sansa is a complicated person, which is what it takes to make it in Westeros. Her motives and goals are constantly subject to speculation. Did she go behind her brother's back in Season 6 to help them or hurt him? Is she truly satisfied being the Lady of Winterfell, or does she still yearn to be a queen? Hopefully, she remains true to how her father would have wanted her to be, and she needs to survive so we can find out.
Sansa's Been Through Too Much To Not Make It
On the verge of being back together with all of her surviving siblings at Winterfell, Sansa is primed for a tremendous final season. With Sansa having at last reunited with Bran and Arya in Season 7, the trio is only missing one sibling, and their imminent reunion with Jon Snow is finally just around the bend. House Stark is about to be a complete unit again (minus those they've lost along the way), and this final season should do as little as possible to destroy that.
Sansa perishing in Season 8, as the result of the White Walker invasion or anything else, would be devastating. She is one of only four remaining Starks, and it would just be cruel to lose another so close to the finish line. It is something that makes the fear she will not survive pretty palatable, especially when compared to her siblings, considering the tragedies they've all dealt with. Jon did die and all.
Game of Thrones has seen the Starks suffer one loss after another, so why stop now? Hopefully, the show will, though. Because Sansa's fate not only impacts the surviving Starks; it impacts their line's entire future. Plus, she's the one who had to be with both Joffrey and Ramsay, which should seriously give her a gold-plated "Get Out Of The Finale Free" card.
Sansa Is One Of The Key Players In House Stark's Future
To keep House Stark from going extinct, one (if not all) of the Starks will need to start a family. While there has been a lot of foreshadowing that Jon Snow will have a baby with Daenerys, that is not a done deal, and that is also not necessarily the lineage that should keep replicating. Plus, the more Starks, the better.
With Bran ensconced in living life as the Three-Eyed Raven, and Arya busy being a vigilante not at all set to take on childbirth, they seem to have their plates full. This makes Sansa and Jon Snow the family's most likely candidates to continue the Stark line. If Sansa were to die, that would hamper the Starks' chances of continuing forward.
Joining Jon Snow in his return to Winterfell will be Daenerys, who -- unbeknownst to him -- is his biological aunt. Sansa is not going to be thrilled about Jon pledging his fealty to Daenerys when the two cross paths again. (An EW report regarding Season 8 confirmed that.) That will hopefully be played for more than a beat or two, diverting any wishes for them to make babies happen.
Sansa Is The North's Last Hope
Jon was supposed to be getting Daenerys' much-needed help to save the North from extinction, not bend the knee to her. That said, Daenerys and Sansa share a lot in common. Both have been driven to restore their families' legacies, and both have also endured a lot of hardships in the meantime, usually not of their own accord. But they don't necessarily share the same ideals.
Sansa is more concerned about the North and its people's needs. For the most part, Daenerys wants to get everyone under her umbrella. The North has expressed their desire for independence more than once, which is a desire Sansa has not opposed. That might not fall in line so smoothly with The Mother of Dragons.
Jon Snow is already a goner as far as Daenerys is concerned, unless she does something drastic that somehow changes his mind. That means Sansa is the last one of reputable power standing for the North. If she were to die, the North's last hopes for freedom would perish with her. Jon, Bran, and perhaps even Arya have their minds on other things.
Sansa is crucial in maintaining and helping to evolve House Stark. After a brutal beginning, she and her siblings are in a position to usher their House into a new era, one that could very well see a member of their own family ascend to the Iron Throne. In many ways, Sansa represents the past, present, and future of House Stark. Arya has been consumed by revenge, Bran by his duties as the Three-Eyed Raven, and Jon by his feelings for Daenerys. Sansa is the only one still thinking clearly. If the Starks hope to see the future, her survival is the key.