This post contains spoilers for the finale of Game of Thrones. Consider yourself warned.
Listen, I’m one of the many people with a lot of notes on the Game of Thrones finale—well, and the past two seasons, really. But one thing this show has almost always gotten right is the hairstyles, and that remained true through the last moments of HBO’s epic series.
Over the course of eight seasons, the incredible stylists on the show have woven hidden meanings into the hairstyles of characters like Cersei and Daenerys. Perhaps the character who had one of the most dramatic character arcs on the show is Sansa Stark, and the changes she underwent were often reflected in her hair.
Through her hair, Sansa emulated women in her life, from her mother Catelyn’s simple yet beautiful braids to the more elaborate styles worn by Cersei during the early seasons in King’s Landing. “Sansa’s hair is constantly reflecting the people she’s learning from, or mimicking, or inspired by at the time,” Sophie Turner explained to Refinery29 in 2017. “When she’s Cersei’s prisoner, and she’s kind of absorbing all her manipulative techniques, it’s reflected in her hairstyle, and when she’s finding the spirit of Margaery in herself, she wears her hair like Margaery.”
But tonight Sansa stood up for herself and her kingdom by refusing to bend the knee to her brother, Bran, and securing freedom for the North with her as the queen. In the closing moments of the show, we see Sansa make her way through the lords of Winterfell to be crowned and her hair is noticeably down—simple and without braids.
She is no longer modeling herself after others. Instead she has truly come into her own as Sansa Stark, the Queen in the North.
It’s a truly memorable moment for a character who has grown from a petulant child to a true leader, after suffering as much as almost any character on a show filled with agonizing pain. Fans on social media were equally moved.
“She never wears her hair down. Sansa has always used her hair to look like the people she’s trying to emulate, as well as trying to communicate non-verbally,” one fan tweeted. “By wearing her hair down, I feel like she’s showing that she’s her own person and she can speak for herself now.”
All hail the Queen in the North—long may she reign.