If you’re a Game of Thrones cult member, you’re already familiar with the quote; quite possibly the best mic drop of the series. Well, I say that as a woman but also as a sexual and domestic abuse survivor.
Game of Thrones is a HBO series set in medieval times. For years, my family and friends urged me to watch it but I refused. I wasn’t interested in that time period and especially its treatment of women. But last week, bored, I decided to give it a try. I finished the series in six days. That’s how good it is.
As a writer, I was enthralled with the character development. Yes, in the beginning, the women were meek and compliant. But throughout the season, they found strength and courage to rise against the controlling men in their lives. Unfortunately for Sansa Stark, her uncle persuaded her to marry Ramsay Bolton, a sociopath. Although her uncle heard rumors of his behavior, he convinced Sansa it was the right thing to do for “the family”. You’ll have to watch to understand.
Fast forward and Sansa marries Ramsay. On their wedding night, Ramsay orders his slave to witness the taking of her virginity. Sansa and the slave, Theo, are both horrified; but they’re more frightened of contesting Ramsay’s request. Throughout the subsequent episodes, it’s revealed that Ramsay not only raped but physically abused Sansa.
This is when Sansa’s mental fortitude is born. Only a teen, Sansa used to cry, beg and withdraw when she was previously ordered to follow the family’s wishes. But, the abuse changes her. No, she’s not hateful or bitter. She’s stronger. And determined to break free. She eventually escapes, taking Theo with her, and reunites with her long lost brother, Jon Snow. From there, they gather an army to challenge Ramsay’s claim to their home.
Ramsay’s army is defeated and he’s tied up in his own dog pen. Like most abusers, Ramsay attempts to get into Sansa’s head, hoping to be freed. He attempts to diminish her confidence and extend his own life by saying, “you can’t kill me. I’m a part of you.” Her reply, patient and calm, is all that.
She simply says, “your words will disappear.”
Wow. DANG. As a survivor of child sexual abuse and domestic violence, I still can’t muster the courage to talk to my abusers that way. But, there are so many other survivors who have. Sansa’s words reminds me of all the women who had the strength to press charges and/or speak out immediately after the abuse. It takes victims like me years to do so, so I commend each and every one of you who possessed the strength of Sansa Stark from the very beginning.
And for those of us who’ve recently gotten the courage to speak out, we now know their words will disappear.