Are Sansa & Tyrion Still Married? Their 'GoT' Season 8 Reunion Showed How Things Have Changed Between Them
Since everyone is gathering at Winterfell for the impending battle with White Walkers, there were several notable reunions in the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere. One such meeting was between former husband and wife, Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister. It's been a while since the two have seen each other (Joffrey was choking on poison, as they remind audiences), so are Tyrion and Sansa still married?
While Sansa and her husband mostly got along during their brief marriage, that they've been apart for so long certainly makes their marital status blurry. And as Tyrion reminds Sansa once he arrives at Winterfell, they haven't seen each other since Joffrey Lannister's wedding to Margaery Tyrell, which was also known as the Purple Wedding. During this auspicious occasion, Tyrion's nephew was killed by a poisoned glass of wine (courtesy of Lady Olenna Tyrell). And while Sansa was initially accused of helping kill her ex-fiancé (remember that?), Dontos Hollard helped her escape.
Speaking of Sansa and Joffrey, the Stark daughter was originally sent to King's Landing to marry the Lannister prince, but she was eventually married off to his uncle, Tyrion. It was an uncomfortable relationship for both of them, but Sansa's husband never forced them to have sex, and their marriage was never consummated.
So where do the two of them stand? Refinery29 pointed out back in 2017 that Sansa and Tyrion aren't married anymore, since they never consummated the marriage. Furthermore, don't forget that afterward, Sansa had a traumatic marriage to Ramsay Bolton, which was unfortunately consummated. The article also points out that since Ramsay was killed, Sansa is now technically a widow.
That said, Huffington Post asked some experts what they thought and got some conflicting answers. Nancy F. Cott, Jonathan Trumbull Research Professor of American History at Harvard University, told the outlet that Sansa and Tyrion were no longer married due to a lack of consummation. However, Ruth Mazo Karras, Lecky Professor of History at Trinity College Dublin, had a conflicting answer.
"Consummation was not necessary for a marriage," Karras said. "As long as both parties are of age, not too closely related to each other and all other things that would make it a valid marriage, once they have said their vows, they are married and they stay married. Even if they separated, they wouldn't be able to marry anybody else."
Furthermore, the professor went on to say that she believed Ramsay and Sansa's marriage was invalid and adulterous and that she and the Bolton son were never fully married. That said, it seems like Littlefinger had a different interpretation, since he handed Sansa over to the Boltons back in Season 5 with the assurance that the Stark was still a virgin.
In other words, it's definitely a valid question and one that apparently doesn't have an easy answer — not to mention one drenched in outdated, patriarchal, misogynistic traditions. Whatever the answer, it seems like Sansa and Tyrion are ready to put the uncomfortable past behind them and work together for the good of Westeros.